Talladega names backstretch after Alabama Gang

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 30, 2014 at 4:12 pm •  Published: April 30, 2014

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Gang will once again have a significant presence at Talladega Superspeedway, where they were frequent contenders.

Original members Bobby and Donnie Allison and Red Farmer were on hand Wednesday as track officials named the backstretch "The Alabama Gang Superstretch." The track unveiled the 200-plus foot painted sign ahead of this weekend's races, culminating with the Sprint Cup Series on Sunday.

"We had some great times here, and this is home," said Bobby Allison, who won four Sprint Cup races at Talladega in the 1970s and 80s.

The original Alabama Gang — all International Motorsports Hall of Famers — operated out of Hueytown, about 60 miles from the track.

The group grew to include others like Neil Bonnett and the late Davey Allison — Bobby's son, who died in a helicopter crash on the Talladega infield in 1993.

Bobby's brother, Donnie Allison, was the first driver to take a race car around the Talladega track. His first reaction: "I was in awe."

"I couldn't believe how wide it was, how much room I had," said Donnie Allison, who had already run at Daytona Superspeedway. "It's only 12 feet wider than Daytona, but it looks like it's probably 40 or 50 feet wider.

"The bank is only 1 degree more or whatever it is but it felt like it was 10 or 15 degrees more. The other thing that I was really shocked about was the bad side of it was how rough it was. I couldn't believe a race track was already that rough."