Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang


While you were sitting in the stands or watching at home on TV, did you ever ask yourself what's really going on behind the scenes? Take a ride on the seat next to auto-racing legend Bobby Allison and relive the dramatic saga of the Alabama Gang in this unique look at NASCAR from the inside.

Bobby Allison, who ranks third place in wins in NASCAR history, began his Grand National/Winston Cup career in 1966. After winning eighty-five races, he retired in 1988 when an accident at ...

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Miracle: Bobby Allison and the Saga of the Alabama Gang

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While you were sitting in the stands or watching at home on TV, did you ever ask yourself what's really going on behind the scenes? Take a ride on the seat next to auto-racing legend Bobby Allison and relive the dramatic saga of the Alabama Gang in this unique look at NASCAR from the inside.

Bobby Allison, who ranks third place in wins in NASCAR history, began his Grand National/Winston Cup career in 1966. After winning eighty-five races, he retired in 1988 when an accident at Pocono Raceway nearly killed him. He was severely brain injured, and it took him a full fifteen years to recover. After the accident, more tragedy struck. In 1992 his younger son, Clifford, died in a crash at the age of twenty-seven. A year later, his other son, Davey, died in a helicopter accident, and in 1994 he lost his close friend and protégé Neil Bonnet in a fatal crash. Then Bobby and his wife, Judy, separated and divorced. Through it all Bobby Allison persevered.

Today Bobby's mind is as sharp, detailed, and analytical as anyone's in sports. Bobby remembers so much, in such great detail, the stories he tells leap off the page. It's all there—-the feuds, the infighting, the victories, the accusations of cheating, and worse.

Incredibly, Bobby, the poster boy for hard work, honesty, and integrity, holds nothing back, even when it reflects poorly on him. "It happened, and there's nothing I can do about that," is what he says. The result is raw racing history.

Along with the Earnhardts, the Jarretts, and the Pettys, the Allisons are racing family royalty, and Miracle, a family saga of determination, loyalty, and love, is filled with some of the greatest racing stories of all time. If you ever wanted to read a book that puts you in the garage, in the pits, and in the boardrooms, and at the same time tugs at your heartstrings—-this is the book for you.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[A] riveting oral history. Miracle is the definitive chronicle of the Allisons' troubles and triumphs." —Dayton Beach News-Journal

"Fascinating and dramatic." —Accent On Tampa Bay

"There will be significant demand for this crowd pleaser." —Booklist

"The Allison story, told with thrusting energy." —Kirkus

"The Allisons were the heart and soul of stock car racing, in victory and in tragedy. Golenbock captures the heartbreak and the inspiration of their story, from the thrilling rides in big-time races to the true grit of an American family fighting to survive." —Robert Lipsyte, former New York Times sports columnist

"NASCAR is not just about sheetmetal and horsepower; it's about people. Bobby Allison is an American hero, and this book allows us to become temporary members of his family. By the last page, we all want to give Bobby and Judy Allison a hug. This is the best NASCAR book ever written." —Tom Cotter, NASCAR historian and author of "Holman Moody: The Legendary Race Team."

"You hold in your hands, reader, our family saga. It's about racing, beating the odds, chasing your dream, making something out of nothing and, of course, the importance of family. Peter Golenbock has done a wonderful job telling our tale. We hope it entertains and inspires you." —Judy Allison

Kirkus Reviews
Bestselling sportswriter Golenbock (Amazin', 2002, etc.) chronicles the terrible toll stock-car racing has taken on NASCAR legend Bobby Allison and those close to him. Allison fought for every shred of respect he garnered on the Winston Cup circuit. He was a crack mechanic before he ever got behind the wheel of a race car, and no factory team would sponsor him as a driver until he proved himself by winning in the heaps he patched together himself. Allison and his Alabama Gang-brothers Eddie and Donnie, Neil Bonnet and Red Farmer-strutted their racing savvy on the southern speedways, but they were infuriated by racetrack officials' habit of cutting slack for reigning champ Richard Petty. Allison conducted plenty of bitter feuds with fellow racers (not to mention his stormy ups and downs with wife Judy), but he had a singular rivalry with Petty: "They would race side by side, trading paint, gaining advantage . . . it was as close to motorized ballet as NASCAR ever presented." But ballets don't end with participants literally crashing and burning; car races sometimes do. Donnie Allison was nearly killed in 1981, and in 1988 Bobby sustained career-ending head injuries. During the long process of piecing himself together, he lost two sons: Clifford died while racing, and Davey, also a driver, was killed in a helicopter crash on the way to the track. The Allison story, told with thrusting energy, even while tragedy after tragedy sucks the air out of the room.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312340025
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 685,180
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Golenbock

Peter Golenbock has written six New York Times bestsellers. His books include American Zoom, The Last Lap, and NASCAR Confidential. He lives in Florida.

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
The Photograph     1
Pop and Kitty     3
Bobby: Exiled to Wisconsin     10
Bobby: Bob Sunderman     21
Bobby: Judy     27
Donnie and Eddie: Built from the Chassis Up     36
Pat: Alabamy Bound     40
Red Farmer: Short-Track Racer     45
Bobby: Nose to the Grindstone     51
Donnie and Eddie: Busting Their Humps     56
Bobby: Eddie Makes a Sacrifice     59
Bobby: Bud, Cotton, Harry, and Ol' Ralph     71
Bobby: An Independent Again     82
Bobby and Eddie: Mario     85
Bobby: Outsmarted by the Pettys     93
Donnie: Banjo     99
Bobby: Allison Versus the Pettys     104
Bobby: Junior     112
Bobby: Iroc and Indy, 1973     126
Bobby: The Roger Penske Years     135
Donnie: Outsmarted by the Gardners     146
Neil Bonnett: Susan     150
Bobby: Bud Moore Saves Him     155
Donnie: Hoss     160
Bobby and Donnie: The Fight at Daytona     163
Bobby: Butting Heads     170
Donnie: T-Boned and in a Coma     181
Bobby: AChampionship-At Last     186
Bobby: It Gets Ugly     197
Davey: The Prodigal Son     208
Hut: Rookie of the Year     217
Neil: In Waltrip's Shadow     223
Bobby: The Oldest Winner Ever     230
Bobby and Davey: Father, Son Finish 1,2     238
Bobby: At Death's Door     248
Bobby and Judy: The Long Road Back     260
Bobby and Judy: A Miracle     266
Neil: Amnesia     275
Davey: Robert Yates Hires Larry Mac     282
Clifford: "Crazy Wild"     289
Davey: The Lost Championship: Part I     294
The Death of Clifford Allison     309
Davey: The Lost Championship: Part II     315
Davey: Life on the Edge     321
The Death of Davey Allison     328
Alabama Mourns     337
Hut: Scarred     344
Bobby and Judy: No Peace     348
The Death of Neil Bonnett     354
Hut: A Career Fizzles     361
The End Of Bobby Allison Motorsports     367
Bobby and Judy: Financial Ruin and Divorce     373
Bobby and Judy: Reunited     380
Notes     387
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Found this review very easy to use.

    Like this site very much

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    Extremly interesting.

    Great life story covering the highs and the lows of a life of racing. I would strongly recommend anyone interested in racing and particularly in some of the retired drivers reading this book.

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  • Posted June 10, 2009

    A wonderful read!

    In 'Miracle,' Peter Golenbock enlightens NASCAR fans with the intimate details of the life of one of racings biggest stars ever. The book is filled with quotes from family members and friends and is quite revealing in discussing the relationships of those who were active participants in racing from the sixties through the nineties. This book gives details of not just the facts of Bobby Allison's life, but also his innermost thoughts. It reveals his strong Catholic faith, which is important since many race fans are unfamiliar with such practices. The story is filled with heartache, but also gives evidence of God's presence during difficult times. I also learned lots about the inner workings of NASCAR. This is a must read for any Bobby Allison (or Davey Allison) fan.

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