By admin | February 3, 2013
By Richard Allen
One of the biggest stories coming into this year’s Super Bowl was the fact that the two opposing teams were coached by brothers. Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers would face John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens in a match-up that would pit siblings against each other in the big game for the first time in NFL history.
In NASCAR, the idea of brothers competing against each other is as old as the sport itself.
Tim, Bob and Fonty Flock began racing in NASCAR during the sport’s earliest days. Often, the names of “The Flying Flocks” come up among those of original pioneers in discussions of racing history.
Each of the three achieved success in stock cars. But Tim, who scored 39 victories and two championships, was most notable. He had a knack for entertainment which he demonstrated by having a pet monkey named “Jocko Flocko” ride along with him for a few races. However, he also had a knack for angering NASCAR boss Bill France. As a matter of fact, he was banned by the sanctioning body for life in 1961 after attempting to start a drivers union.
Bob only raced for portions of seven years but scored four wins during his time in NASCAR. He began his career of hard driving as a moonshine runnerfor Atlanta’s Peachtree Williams but soon found his way to race tracks around the South. While he had relatively few victories in the sport’s top division, he scored over 200 modified wins before retiring from racing after suffering a broken back in a crash.
Fonty won 19 times between 1949 and 1957. He also started out as a moonshiner then found his way to race tracks as a result of the fast driving techniques learned while evading capture. He announced his retirement from racing in a hospital bed after a severe crash in Darlington in 1957.
Following the legacy of the Flock brothers were two of the core members of the “Alabama Gang”. Bobby and Donnie Allison tore up NASCAR tracks throughout the 1960s, ’70s and into the ’80s.
Bobby amassed a total of 85 wins over the course of his NASCAR career. He also earned what was then called the Winston Cup(Sprint Cup) championship in 1983. In recognition of his achievements, he was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2011.
Bobby was known as one of the sport’s true innovators as he was constantly coming up with new ways to make his cars go faster so that he could compete with more heavily financed drivers and teams. But much like Tim Flock, he also had a way of ruffling the feathers of the powerful France family. He too played an instrumental role in a movement to form a drivers union in 1969. But like the earlier attempt, the union failed to have any real staying power.
Bobby’s career was ended when he suffered serious injuries in a crash at Pocono in 1988.
Donnie Allison may not have enjoyed as much success as his brother but he is noted for being a major player in one of NASCAR’s truly defining moments. As he and Cale Yarborough raced down the back stretch on the last lap of the 1979 Daytona 500they crashed in the first race ever carried live and flag-to-flag by a national television network. The result was a win by Richard Petty and a fist fight between Yarborough and both Allison brothers. But more importantly, another result was that NASCAR became a household word in the mainstream of American sports.
Donnie won a total of ten NASCAR races over the course of a career that spanned from 1966 to 1988.
In modern times, NASCAR still has competing brothers. 2004 Sprint Cup champion Kurt Busch and his brother Kyle are among the sport’s most talented drivers. And like the previously mentioned siblings, they are not afraid to stir the pot as well. Both are proven winners, and at their relatively young ages, they promise to remain a major part of the sport for years to come.
Also, up-and-coming brothers Austin and Ty Dillon are likely to bring their talents to the top division of racing under the guidance of their famous grandfather, Richard Childress, and their racing father Mike Dillon.
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