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2019 The Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Auto Show

2019 The Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Auto Show

NASCAR Racing Legend Bobby Allison

Robert Arthur Allison (born December 3, 1937) is a former American professional stock car racing driver and owner. Named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, he was the 1983 Winston Cup champion and won the Daytona 500 three times in 1978, 1982, and 1988. His two sons, Clifford and Davey Allison, followed him into racing, and both died within a year of each other. Allison was born December 3, 1937 in Miami, FL. He entered his first race as a senior at Archbishop Curley-Notre Dame High School in Miami. Since he was only 17, he had to have his parents' permission so he thought when his mother approved, it was forever, but she thought it was for only one race.[citation needed] After graduating high school in 1955, Allison's mother thought she would derail his racing interest by sending him to Wisconsin to work for Mercury Outboard Motors, where her brother-in-law, Jimmy Hallett, was the national sales manager. Unbeknownst to her, Carl Kiekhaefer was the owner of Mercury Outboard Motors, where Allison ended up working as a mechanic and an engine tester. Carl Kiekhaefer also owned racecars. While employed at Mercury Outboard Motors, Allison worked in the boat division for 10 months, then was transferred to the racecar division. During the 2 months he worked in the racecar division for Carl Kiekhaefer, he went to 19 races—mostly Grand National (today known as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), and a few Convertible races. Every one of those races was won by a Carl Kiekhaefer car from the shop in which he worked. Kiekhaefer was a hard person to work for and several people got fired, so Allison decided to go back to Miami only after a little over 2 months. In 1956, having returned to Miami, Allison started his own racing again. His parents said he couldn't race and live at home, so Allison came up with a fictitious name (Bob Sunderman) which was used only once as he finished well enough to make the Sunday paper. Allison's father saw the paper and told him that if he was going to race to do it with honor and use his own name. In 1959, Allison took his brother, Donnie, Kenny Andrews—who owned a car (whose father owned Andy Racing Wheels) and Gil Hearne went along as Kenny's driver on a quest for more lucrative racing than was available in South Florida. Their searching led them to Montgomery Motor Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama, where he was told of a race that very night in Midfield, Alabama near Birmingham. Allison entered and finished 5th in that race, which paid more than finishing 2nd in any big race in South Florida. He went to Montgomery the next night, won the preliminary races, and finished 2nd in the feature, winning $400, having found his lucrative racing. The brothers returned home and Bobby talked his friend Red Farmer into coming back to Alabama with him. They had immediate success and soon they began answering to the name The Alabama Gang. Allison became a known driver and won the national championship in the modified special division in 1962.

2019 The Dale Earnhardt Chevrolet Auto Show

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Photo taken on 15 June 2019 (© @CarShowShooter / Flickr)

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