Allison, 68, is a charter member of the Alabama Gang. Born in Hueytown, Ala., he survived a career-ending 1988 accident at Pocono Raceway and lost two of his sons – Davey and Clifford – in racing accidents. His career achievements are many, but here are five that show why he belongs in the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2011.
Allison came close to winning his first title almost a dozen years earlier. In 1972, he was on a tear and enjoying a 10-win season. That year, he tallied 22 finishes of second or better to put together an outstanding effort – but it fell just short. Allison finished second in the standings to Hall of Famer Richard Petty that year.
Beyond Cup series
Allison didn’t just excel in NASCAR’s Cup series. In addition to his championship there, he won four titles in other NASCAR series. He won a pair of Modified Division titles and two Modified Special Division championships during his storied career.
Among the best
Allison is tied for third on the all-time wins list with 84 victories over the course of his career. He also tallied 58 pole positions in his 718 starts. Allison won on 27 different tracks during his NASCAR career and in a variety of types of races. He earned 19 wins on superspeedways, 28 on intermediate tracks, 30 on short tracks, six on road courses and one on a dirt track. He competed from 1971 to 1988.
Allison won NASCAR’s most prestigious race three times. The first came in 1978, the second in 1982 — but it was the third that was the most stirring. Allison beat his son, Davey, to the finish line in 1988 to win in what would turn out to be his final Daytona 500.
Allison earned six victories in his stellar 1983 season, earning an average starting position of 11.3 and a remarkable 30-race average finish of 7.0. He earned only two DNFs, but tallied 25 top-10 finishes, 18 of them top-fives, in a display of consistency. He completed 92 percent of all possible laps (10, 217) and led 1,755 of those to win the championship by 47 points over Darrell Waltrip.