One of the first NASCAR drivers and was named one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers. Born in Miami, Florida, he entered his first race as a senior in high school, but was ordered to quit by his father after a few accidents.
After high school in 1959, Allison took his brother Donnie and friends along on a quest for more lucrative racing than was available in south Florida. His searching led him to the Montgomery Speedway in Montgomery, Alabama, and he was told of a race that very night in Midfield, Alabama near Birmingham. Allison entered and won that race, along with two others races that week. He had found his lucrative racing. Bobby and Donnie set up shop in Hueytown, Alabama with another friend (Red Farmer), and they began answering to the name Alabama Gang.
Bobby Allison also worked as a mechanic and an engine tester, but eventually came into his own as a driver and won the national championship in the modified special division in 1962. He moved to the Grand National circuit in 1965 and got his first victory at Oxford Plains Speedway on July 12, 1966.
During the course of his career, Bobby Allison accumulated 84 victories, which ties him for third all-time with Darrell Waltrip, including three victories at the Daytona 500 in 1978, 1982 and 1988, where he finished one-two with his son, Davey Allison. He was also the NASCAR Winston Cup Champion in 1983.
On June 19, 1988, Bobby Allison nearly died in a crash at Pocono Raceway, but was left with injuries that forced his retirement from NASCAR. He was elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993, tragically, the same year as his son Davey died in a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway.