On May 3, 1987, Bobby Allison, now 78, was engaged in one of the most terrifying and dramatic wrecks in NASCAR history. Allison was fourth in the No. 22 Stavola Brothers Buick on Lap 21 of the Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, according to a 2010 Birmingham News report. He was leading the race when he suffered a tire blowout and slammed into the outside wall head-on, breaking his back in nine places and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Allison's car burst into flames after hitting the wall, and he was rescued by ambulance crews who had been trained in fire safety procedures for disabled drivers. He was taken to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit where he died several hours later. The cause of death was reported as multiple organ failure due to burns over 75 percent of his body.
In addition to racing cars, Bobby Allison also worked as a firefighter and paramedic before becoming involved in motorsports. He is survived by his wife, Norma, and their three children: Brenda, Mark, and Brad. His son, Mark, is also a NASCAR driver.
Bobby Allison was posthumously awarded the Commander's Award by the National Fire Protection Association for "his extraordinary efforts and contributions to improving emergency medical services for injured athletes."
He was born on January 4, 1933 in New York City.
Allison wrecked on lap 1 of the Miller High Life 500 on June 19, 1988, during the midway of the 1988 season. Allison attended a rehabilitation program after being in a vegetative condition. As a result of his severe injuries, he was forced to withdraw from NASCAR.
Bobby Allison retired after he crashed into a wall at Daytona International Speedway on February 17, 1989. He was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Allison's wife and daughter were also killed in the crash. He was thrown from the car and suffered multiple skull fractures and other internal injuries.
Before his death, Bobby Allison was elected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The National Motorsports Press Association named him the Most Popular Driver of All Time.
Clifford and Davey Allison, his two kids, followed father into racing and died within a year of one other. Robert Arthur "Bobby" Allison (born December 3, 1937) is a former professional stock car racing driver and owner from the United States. He best known for being one of only three drivers to win the Daytona 500, the Great American Race. He won in 1969 driving for Richard Petty's team.
Allison started out in racing at age 15 when he drove an old crate car to third place in a local race. He went on to have a very successful career that included winning the first two races of the new NASCAR season. He also won the last three races of 1968 and all but one race in 1969.
After retiring from driving, he became a part-time owner and won several more races including two more Daytona 500s. He died in a crash at the 1970 Southern 500 while defending his title as the greatest racer never to win the championship. He is still considered by many to be the best short-track driver of all time.
Allison was born in Greenville, South Carolina but grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina. His family moved to Jasper, Texas when he was a child so he could go to school there. He began racing motorcycles at age 14 and won many races.
Ryan Newman, a NASCAR driver, began racing when he was four years old and hasn't stopped since. He is the only driver in USAC history to win all three classes, and he was voted Winston Cup Rookie of the Year in 2002. Today, at 37 years old, he still races full time for his family-owned team.
When Newman first started racing cars, he was 4 years old. He won his first race when he was 5 years old (Mini Stock Series) and has never looked back. At age 12, he was winning races and by 2001, he had won over $4 million in prize money. That same year, he made his Winston Cup debut and ended up finishing 10th in his first race ever. Since then, he has gone on to become one of the top drivers in the sport. He currently drives for RNewman Racing which he founded in 2004.
He has 3 children: Wyatt (9), Naomi (7), and Finley (5).
Naomi is an aspiring singer/songwriter who has been known to write songs about racing (her father's favorite thing to do!). She has competed in musical theater competitions throughout her life and was part of her school's production of "The Wizard of Oz" this past summer.