Donnie Allison

Donnie Allison

Class of: 2000

Sport: Auto Racing

Donnie AllisonDunkiny “Donnie” Allison (born in Miami, FL) is a former driver on the NASCAR Grand National/Winston Cup circuit, who won 10 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. Donnie is possibly most remembered for his involvement in a final-lap crash and subsequent fight with Cale Yarborough at the 1979 Dayton 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 also competed in the Indianapolis 500 twice, finishing 4th and winning Rookie of the Year in 1970 and finishing 6th in 1971.