Robbie Allison, son of the late, great Davey Allison and grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison, became the third-generation member of his family to win a stock car race Friday evening at Highland Rim Speedway (TN).
Driving a Pure Stock machine painted up to mimic Bobby’s mid-1970s NASCAR Winston Cup Series ride, Allison survived a tumultuous 50-lap race that was shortened by two laps due to a multi-team fight in the infield.
The drama of the race’s conclusion did nothing to affect Allison’s celebration of a long-awaited first victory. He flashed a classic family grin from ear to ear as he posed for pictures with anyone who asked and sat on the roof of his car, waving the checkered flag.
“This is everything I could have wanted,” Allison said after collecting himself. “Oh my gosh – It just really hasn’t sunk in yet. The only thing I wish is that my grandparents and mom were here tonight. [Mom] keeps on showing up thinking that’s the night I’m going to win. But something always seems to happen to stop us. I bet she’s in Talladega right now kicking herself for not being here. I’m still glad that the people who were here were able to be here.”
Allison found a way to steal the show when it seemed the backmarkers would provide all the fireworks. Allison had at one point been spun out of the lead himself, but given the position back after race officials decided after deliberation he was caught up in a wreck that had developed behind him and driven into him.
Allison had set sail after that but on lap 48, with two laps to go, Cody Jackson and Derrick Harrington, crashed in turn four. As their cars ground to a halt, the drivers began using their cars to express their anger and supplementing that with plenty of provocative gestures. Their crews didn’t umbrage with the wreck as well and cleared pit wall to try to come to their respective driver’s aid.
Track officials immediately red flagged the race for safety’s sake. As the confrontation escalated, more and more individuals seemed to be getting involved with the drama. As security rushed to restrain the key players, the race was called shy of the finish.
“There was a lot of commotion going on what was going on down on the frontstretch over here. I was sitting on the backstretch, and I just saw smoke and heard shouting. Then somebody told me they were going to call the race. I was actually looking forward to those last two laps to be honest because everyone was racing clear where I was. And I felt the car was in the right place, and I was in the zone. I was ready.”
Allison told Speed51 that, with his first stock car victory in the books, he plans to graduate to running in the Pro Late Model ranks next year and is particularly looking forward to tackling Five Flags Speedway (FL) for the first time.
— Story and Photos by Tim Quievryn // Speed51.com Southeast Editor // @thethirdturn