During the course of his career, Bobby Allison accumulated 84 victories, making him third all-time, tied 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 driving for DiGard Racing. Additionally, Allison ran in the Indianapolis 500 twice, with a best finish of 25th in 1975.
Allison's NASCAR team owners included DiGard, Junior Johnson & Associates, and Roger Penske, for whom Allison scored four of the five NASCAR wins for American Motors' Matador. The other AMC victory was accomplished by Mark Donohue also racing for Penske in 1973 at Riverside. Bobby also raced in NASCAR as a driver/owner of an AMC Matador.
Allison was involved in an accident at Alabama International Motor Speedway (now Talladega Superspeedway) in May, 1987 that saw his car cut down a tire, turn sideways and go airborne into the protective catch fence that separates the speedway from the grandstands. The impact with the fence with the rear of the car at over 200 miles per hour (320 km/h) caused nearly 100 yards of fencing to be torn down. Parts and pieces of the car went flying into the grandstand injuring several spectators. This is the same race that Bill Elliott set the all-time qualifying record at 212 mph (341 km/h). In response, NASCAR mandated smaller carburetors for the remaining 1987 events at Talladega and its sister track, Daytona International Speedway. The following year, NASCAR mandated restrictor plates at Daytona and Talladega to keep speeds under 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). Allison would win the first Daytona 500 run with restrictor plates in February 1988 by beating his son Davey Allison. He is the oldest driver (50 years) ever to win the Daytona 500 and the first one-two father/son finish in the Daytona 500.
Later that season, on June 19, 1988, Bobby Allison nearly died in a crash at Pocono Raceway, but was left with injuries that forced his retirement from driving in NASCAR. In 1992, his youngest son, Clifford Allison, was fatally injured in a practice crash for the NASCAR Busch Series race (now Nationwide Series) at Michigan International Speedway. Allison was elected to the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993, the same year that his son Davey died following a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1992.
Allison is one of eight drivers to have won what was then considered a career Grand Slam (an unofficial term) by winning the sport's four majors: the Daytona 500, Winston 500, Coca-Cola 600, and the Southern 500. Richard Petty, David Pearson, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, and Buddy Baker are the other seven to have accomplished the feat.
Courtesy of the Associated Press. Photograph by Ric Feld.
Allison Brothers Fight Cale Yarborough
Donnie (far left) and Bobby Allison (wearing helmet) fight Cale Yarborough following the Daytona 500 in February 1979 in Daytona Beach, Florida. Yarborough was involved in a wreck with Donnie Allison near the end of the race.
Born in Port Arthur, Texas, Johnson graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School (now Memorial High School) in Port Arthur, where one of his classmates was future rock superstar Janis Joplin, whom Johnson nicknamed "beat weeds."
He went to college at the University of Arkansas and was a member of the 1964 National Championship football team, where he was an all-SWC defensive lineman for Hall of Fame coach Frank Broyles, and a teammate of future Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. Other notable teammates were Ken Hatfield, Jim Lindsey, All-American and Ernie Davis Award Winner, Ronnie Caveness, and future Outland Trophy winner Loyd Phillips. Several future great head coaches were assistant coaches for Frank Broyles and the Razorbacks during Johnson's career in Fayetteville: Hayden Fry, future legendary Head Coach at the University of Iowa, Johnny Majors, future legendary Head Coach at the University of Tennessee, and most notably Barry Switzer, Hall of Fame coach of the University of Oklahoma and the man who replaced Jimmy Johnson as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson was nick-named "Jimmy Jumpup" because he never stayed down on the ground for long during football practices or games as it was said his determination was boundless.
An affable and polished veteran quarterback who will embark on his final collegiate season competing to regain his status at the top of the depth chart … Wrapped up `09 spring drills as the officially-designated backup to Patrick Pinkney but experience and competitive nature could change the Pirates' offensive landscape as the season progresses … Prior to serving as a defined reserve during his junior campaign, he teamed with Pinkney to give East Carolina one of the strongest rotating quarterbacking systems in the nation two years ago … Gives ECU a physical quarterback prototype in regards to size, quickness and arm strength … Professional demeanor, team-first attitude, agility and work ethic, which resulted in the loss of approximately 20 pounds during the off-season, also won't rule out the possibility of a position change in order to force action on the field … Has experienced both the positives and negatives of playing on a grand stage – overcoming the adversity of a team rule violation prior to the nationally-televised opener at Virginia Tech but displaying the resolve and maturity to face teammates and work his way back up the depth chart to guide ECU to pivotal C-USA victories over UTEP and UCF before engineering a game-winning drive against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl … Completed 10-of-17 passes for 84 yards in first spring scrimmage (4/4) before hitting 13-of-18 passes for 97 yards in second simulated contest (4/8) … Did not play in the Purple-Gold Game (bereavement leave) … Cited by position coach Todd Fitch as the unit's recipient of the "distinction of attitude, effort and leadership" award … Completed requirements for a bachelor's degree in communications last fall and participated in graduation ceremonies in December.
2008: Completed 25-of-54 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns as a top backup during junior season … Played in eight games, coming off the bench on seven occasions and making one start (at UCF) … Tossed both scoring passes against Memphis (42-yarder to Brandon Simmons, 28-yarder to Dwayne Harris) during Pirates' 30-10 victory that halted a three-game slide – the third multi-TD outing of career … Also turned in top effort of year against Tigers, completing nine-of-17 passes for a season-high 167 yards – his only triple-digit aerial performance of the season … Was seven-of-19 for 65 yards a week later in start vs. Knights in Orlando … Suffered two interceptions (2) vs. Houston and UCF … Contributed nine rushes for -2 yards … Booked a career-best 20-yard ground gain (one carry) vs. UTEP in regular season finale … Had a season-high four carries at UCF … Completed only pass attempt vs. West Virginia (seven yards) … Opened the second half under center vs. Houston, completing five-of-eight passes for 49 yards – 41 coming on a strike to Harris in the third quarter … Engineered march that resulted in a game-winning touchdown with 2:20 remaining vs. UAB that clinched the Pirates' first C-USA East Division title … Connected with Norman Whitley on a pivotal 17-yard pass near midfield to sustain drive against Blazers.
2007: Started seven of 10 games played at quarterback … Earned starting nod heading into the 2007 season but was suspended for the opener (team rule violation) … Recorded first career start under center against UCF (10/6) and followed by opening contests against UTEP, N.C. State, UAB, Memphis, Marshall and Tulane… Overall, completed 96-of-175 passes for 1,164 yards, nine TDs and just four interceptions … Completed 28-of-50 passes for 254 yards (all career-highs) vs. N.C. State … Threw for at least 200 yards in three games (UCF/201, UTEP/219 and N.C. State/254) – all coming in successive fashion in early-to-mid October … Had at least one TD pass in five contests (Houston, UCF, UTEP, N.C. State and Tulane) … Tossed three TDs in a game twice – vs. Knights and Green Wave … Experienced first action of the season in the fourth quarter at West Virginia (2-of-3 passing for 11 yards) … Helped spark the Pirates past Houston a week later, playing the entire second half and completing 6-of-12 passes for 110 yards and one TD … Scoring strike (34-yarder to T. J. Lee in the third quarter) was the first of his career … Was 12-of-23 for 201 yards and three TDs in first start vs. UCF … Completed a career-long pass of 72 yards to Chris Johnson for a score against the Knights … Scored game-winning touchdown in overtime on a one-yard run at UTEP after completing 18-of-32 passes for a then career-high 219 yards with one TD … Game-long strike of 34 yards to Juwon Crowell at the close of regulation sent the game into overtime at the Sun Bowl … Followed with a career-best performance vs. N.C. State, which included finding Jamar Bryant on an 18-yard TD toss in the second quarter … Other regular season effort of note came against Tulane … 12-of-18 passes found receivers for 177 yards and three scores (six, 25 and 33 yards) vs. Green Wave … Came off the bench against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl to engineer Pirates' game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter, finding Jamar Bryant on a critical third-and-eight play to set up Ben Hartman's deciding field goal.
2006: Quickly established himself as the top back-up behind record-setting quarterback James Pinkney … However, was able to experience significant playing time in five games (West Virginia, SMU, UCF, Marshall and South Florida), completing 14-of-30 passes for 184 yards with one interception (West Virginia) … Rushed the ball seven times for -23 yards … Closed year in fine statistical fashion, topping all ECU and USF quarterbacks with 138 air yards (10-of-19) vs. the Bulls in the Papajohns.com Bowl … Hit first throw of the game for 26 yards to Brandon Fractious before adding a then career-long pass of 29 yards to Bobby Good in the fourth quarter … Made collegiate debut in the fourth quarter against the No. 4 Mountaineers at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium … Completed two-of-seven passes for 29 yards with one interception vs. Mountaineers … Connected on a 25-yard pass play with Jamar Bryant and also completed a four-yard toss … Ran the ball twice for ten yards, including a seven-yard scamper down the right sideline … Completed lone pass of the game vs. SMU in the first quarter to Aundrae Allison for 11 yards … Completed other regular season pass vs. Marshall (six yards).
2005: Redshirted … Provided program with an exemplary effort as the top scout team signal-caller, earning the annual Rick Bankston Memorial Award (symbolic of scout team player-of-the-year honors) … Officially signed with Skip Holtz' program in February, 2005.
High School: A three-year starter and four-year letterwinner as a quarterback for two different programs in the Orlando (Fla.) area … Opened career at Lake Mary High School before transferring to Lake Highland Preparatory High School prior to his senior season … Led Lake Mary to the Class AAAAA Florida State Playoff semifinals as a junior before guiding Lake Highland to the Class AAAAAA semis as a senior in 2004 … Earned FHSAA Player-of-the-Year honors in the 2A-2B classification after his senior year … Completed 55-of-100 (55.0 percent) passes for 1,300 yards and 10 touchdowns for Lake Highland in 2004 while also adding 300 rushing yards … Compiled 1,340 passing yards and nine TDs as a junior at Lake Mary … Served as captain of the East Team in the Florida East-West All-Star Classic played in December, 2004 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa … Selected as the MVP of the East squad, completing 17-of-21 passes for 251 yard and four touchdowns … Turned in a 55.4 completion percentage during his prep career … In all, completed 191-of-345 passes for 4,639 yards and 39 TDs … Averaged over eight yards per rushing attempt, picking up 569 ground yards and seven scores … Committed just 13 turnovers during his four-year career which spanned over 1,300 offensive plays … A three-sport athlete, earning additional letters in basketball and weightlifting during his senior year … A Dean's List and Honor Roll performer in the classroom each semester of high school, maintaining a cumulative 3.10 grade point average all four years … Was exceptionally active in the Central Florida community, earning credit for over 400 hours of volunteer service … Finished prep career at the same high school program as former East Carolina wide receiver Bobby Good.
Personal: Full name is Robert Joseph Kass … Born March 25, 1987… Major is communications … Has quarterback bloodlines as his grandfather served as a signal-caller at Hofstra while father Dave played same position for John Mackovic at Wake Forest before transferring to New Hampshire … In addition, brother Brian signed a national letter-of-intent in February, 2009 to attend and play football (quarterback) at Southern Conference contender Wofford … A strong classroom performer as well, earning selection to the ECU Athletic Director's Honor Roll as an undergraduate (2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic years) … Currently pursuing a master's degree in exercise and sports science with a concentration in sport management.