Donnie Allison Hall of Fame nominee bio

A member of NASCAR’s famed “Alabama Gang” and an ambassador for the sport for more than 50 years, Donnie Allison had never planned to be a race car driver.

But when Donnie’s older brother, Bobby, made the claim that Donnie could never be a driver, well, Donnie set out to prove him – and anyone else – wrong. Like Bobby, Donnie got his start racing modifieds and worked his way to the top level of stock car racing.

After winning the 1967 Cup Series Rookie of the Year, Allison partnered with famed mechanic Banjo Matthews where he experienced his most success. In 1970, Allison won three races for Matthews, including the Coca-Cola 600. The following weekend he finished fourth in the Indianapolis 500, setting a record for best-combined finish in the two-race crossover that still stands today.

But Allison might be best-known for his role in NASCAR’s most famous moment – his 1979 Daytona 500 fight with Cale Yarborough. An intense battle for the win ended with both drivers wrecked, scuffling in the infield.

It all happened on the first nationally-televised NASCAR race and made headlines across America. The publicity was instrumental to the growth of NASCAR and remains one of the defining moments in the sport’s history.


Born: Sept. 7, 1939
Hometown: Hueytown, Alabama

Cup Series Stats
Competed: 1966-88
Starts: 242
Wins: 10
Poles: 17
Years on Ballot: 1