DAYTONA BEACH , Fla. (Feb. 14, 2009) – Three-time Daytona 500 champion Bobby Allison will serve as the Honorary Starter for the 51st annual Daytona 500 on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.
The 2009 Daytona 500 marks 30 years since the famous fight between Allison, his brother Donnie and Cale Yarborough in the 1979 Daytona 500.
In the first live televised broadcast of the Daytona 500, Yarborough and Donnie Allison were battling side-by-side for victory on the final lap of the Daytona 500. But neither Yarbrough nor Allison ever made it to the checkered flag.
The two drivers were beating and banging on each other all the way down the Superstretch and crashed entering Turn 3. Richard Petty went on to win the race while meanwhile back in Turn 3, one of the landmark moments in the history of NASCAR took place as Yarborough and Allison began a heated debate that turned into a fist fight with Allison’s brother Bobby jumping into the fray.
Bob by Allison is one of only five drivers to have won the Daytona 500 three or more times. He captured the 1978 Daytona 500 with Bud Moore, the 1982 with DiGard Racing and the 1988 with Stavola Bros.
In the 1988 Daytona 500, Allison and his son Davey delivered the race’s only 1-2 father-son finish. That same year, Allison also won the 300-mile Nationwide Series race, the Gatorade qualifying race and the fishing tournament.
Tickets for DIRECTV Speedweeks 2009 and the 51st annual Daytona 500 are available online at http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.