From the Vault: Alabama Gang
by Daniel J. Simone, Ph.D. April 23, 2021
A look back at Bobby and Davey Allison and other members of the Alabama Gang of racers.
The NASCAR Hall of Fame has more than 500,000 images in its permanent collection. Over time, many of these photos will find their way into exhibits and/or the museum’s many digital interactives. Since the NASCAR premier series is visiting Talladega this weekend, lets take a stroll down memory lane with some photos of the Alabama Gang.
1971 Bobby Allison Way Back in the Day
Originally from South Florida, Bobby Allison (2011) eventually made Hueytown, Alabama, home. He picked up his first NASCAR premier series win in 1966 and wound up with 84 victories and 336 top fives. He had an excellent run in the Richmond 500 on March 7, 1971. Driving the familiar No. 12, Allison started all the way back in 29th in his self-owned Dodge and worked his way up to the lead for 36 laps. He wound up in fourth place behind race winner Richard Petty (2010), Bobby Isaac (2016), and Benny Parsons (2017).
1978 Classic Scheme: Donnie Allison and Hoss Ellington's Hawaiian Tropic-Sponsored Chevy
A ten-time winner in the premier series, Donnie Allison drove part-time for Hoss Ellington from 1975-1982. They scored four premier series victories in that span. Many fans identify this memorable paint scheme with the spectacular conclusion of the 1979 Daytona 500, when the Oldsmobiles of Allison and Cale Yarborough (2012) tangled while battling for the victory on the final lap. This photo, however, is a great shot of the Chevrolet that Allison raced in the American 500 held at North Carolina Motor Speedway on October 22, 1978 — just a few months before “The Fight.”
1980 Bonnett, Wood Brothers Tame Tricky Triangle
Alabama’s Neil Bonnett and Virginia’s Wood Brothers Racing had a great deal of success together. They teamed up for nine premier series wins, one of which came in the 1980 Coca-Cola 500 at Pocono Raceway. Bonnett and Buddy Baker (2020) swapped the lead a handful of times in the closing laps before Bonnett triumphed in the No. 21 Mercury by just over a half second. Brilliant mechanic and innovator Leonard Wood (2013) helped Bonnett secure the big win.
1990 Hut Stricklin Posts Top Ten for Bobby Allison
Bobby Allison continued in the premier series as a car owner after his driving career abruptly ended following a terrible accident at Pocono in 1988. Early in the 1990 season he put Alabama driver Hut Stricklin behind the wheel of his no. 12 Buick. Pictured here in their first race, Stricklin started 18th and finished ninth in the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Stricklin would go on to post eight top fives and 29 top tens before wrapping up his premier series career in 2002.
1992 Davey Allison Celebrates Again At Talladega
Davey Allison (2019) claimed his first career premier series victory at Talladega Superspeedway in 1987. He would drive into victory lane two more times at the 2.66-mile track. One win came in 1989 and the final triumph came in the Winston 500 on May 3, 1992, where he started on the front row and led 110 laps en route to the checkered flag. Allison’s Ford Thunderbirds always had plenty of power under the hood thanks to the engines built by team owner Robert Yates (2018).