September 7, 1939 |
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Achievements||Snowball Derby winner|
|Awards||International Motorsports Hall of Fame (2009)|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|242 race(s) run over 20 year(s)|
|First race||1966 National 500 Charlotte|
|Last race||1988 Champion Spark Plug 400 (Michigan)|
|First win||1968 Carolina 500 (Rockingham)|
|Last win||1978 Dixie 500 (Atlanta)|
|NASCAR Nationwide Series career|
|20 race(s) run over 5 year(s)|
|First race||1984 Miller Time 300 (Charlotte)|
|Last race||1989 Goody's 300 (Daytona)|
|NASCAR Grand National East Series career|
|2 race(s) run over 1 year(s)|
|First race||1972 Mr. D's 200 (Nashville)|
|Last race||1972 Mountaineer 300 (West Virginia)|
|Statistics current as of February 28, 2013.|
Donnie Allison (born September 7, 1939 in Miami, Florida) is a former driver on the NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup circuit, who won ten times during his racing career, which spanned the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. He was part of the "Alabama Gang," and is the brother of 1983 champion Bobby Allison and uncle of Davey Allison. He was inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009.
1979 Daytona 500
Allison is possibly most remembered for his involvement in a final-lap crash and subsequent fight with Cale Yarborough at the 1979 Daytona 500. Allison was leading the race on the final lap with Yarborough drafting him tightly. As Yarborough attempted his signature slingshot pass at the end of the backstretch, Allison attempted to block him. Yarborough refused to give ground and as he pulled alongside Allison, his left side tires left the pavement and went into the wet and muddy infield grass. As a result, Yarborough began to lose control of his car and contacted Allison's car halfway down the backstretch. As both drivers tried to regain control, their cars made contact several more times before finally locking together and crashing into the outside wall in turn three. After the cars settled in the grass, Allison and Yarborough began to argue. After they had talked it out, Bobby Allison, who was lapped at that point, pulled over and began defending his brother, and a fight broke out. It all happened on the first nationally televised NASCAR race. Richard Petty, who was over half a lap behind at the time of the crash, went on to win the race. The fight made headlines all across America. The publicity was instrumental in the growth of NASCAR.
Allison managed to get ten wins in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition with his first coming at the 1968 Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway and his final at the 1978 Dixie 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Allison would suffer serious injuries at the 1981 Coca Cola 600, this would end his career in NASCAR for the most part. Allison would only race fourteen more Winston Cup races (he would also fail to qualify four times for races during this time) from 1982 to 1988. Allison would also win the 1967 NASCAR Grand National Rookie of the Year.
Allison first raced in the USAC Championship Car Series in 1970. Driving the #83 Greer Eagle 67-Offenhauser for Ansted-Thompson Racing in the 1970 Indianapolis 500, he finished 4th and won the 1970 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year Award. He would have finished 20th in points, but because he was using a NASCAR license, he was ineligible for points. For the 1971 Allison drove the #84 Purolator Filters Coyote-Ford V8, finishing 6th in the Indianapolis 500. He also competed in the Rex Mays 150 at Milwaukee State Fairgrounds Speedway, the Schaefer 500 at Pocono International Raceway, and the California 500 at Ontario Motor Speedway, retiring from both. Allison was again ineligible for points.
- 1967 NASCAR Grand National Rookie of the Year
- 1970 Stark and Wetzel Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year
- Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2009
- Inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame
- "Donnie Allison Crash Charlotte 1981. Official Footage.".
- White, Woody (May 27, 1982). "Donnie Allison Relives World 600 Accident". The Spartanburg Herald.
- Zier, Patrick (February 15, 1986). "Donnie Allison ready to prove he belongs". The Ledger (Lakeland, Florida).
- Donnie Allison driver statistics at Racing-Reference
- Donnie Allison: As I Recall... by Donnie Allison with Jimmy Creed, published by Sports Publishing L.L.C., 2005[dead link]
|Snowball Derby Winner
|Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year