|Donnie, Red, Neil and Bobby|
The backstretch at Talladega Superspeedway was renamed “The Alabama Gang Superstretch” today, in honor of a notable group of drivers who left their homes in search of a better place to race.
Setting up shop in Hueytown, Ala. in the late 1950’s., brothers Bobby and Donnie Allison and fellow Florida native Red Farmer dominated the southern stock car circuit throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s, making the Alabama town (and themselves) synonymous with big-time stock car racing.
Farmer is the grandfather of Charles (Charlie) Brock, car chief on the No. 60 Nationwide Series team at Roush Fenway Racing. Charlie was onsite at today’s unveiling and said he could not be prouder to come from such a historic bloodline.
“It is cool to have your grandfather getting a backstretch named after him,” said Brock. “There’s millions and millions of people who watch races and they are going to be able to see on TV that there is a superstretch at Talladega named after a group of pioneers of the sport. If it weren’t for “The Alabama Gang” racing in the south might not be what it is today.”
Farmer is a three-time champion in what is now the NASCAR Nationwide Series. His best finish in the Sprint Cup series came in 1968, when his finished fourth at the Middle Georgia 500. He won several championships at local tracks, and made relatively few Cup Series starts due to his satisfaction with the Late Model Sportsman series.
Now in his ‘80s, Farmer is still pursuing his racing passion and will once again take to the short tracks of Alabama when he visits Talladega this weekend. He is set to run his Super Late Model at the Talladega Short Track on Friday and Saturday night. Brock will not miss the chance to spend time with his grandfather.
“It’s cool to still have my grandfather,” said Brock. “He’s 81 years old and still races every week. I don’t get much time with him due to my schedule and his, so Talladega is a special week for us. I’ll go over to the big track during the day and then head to the short track Friday and Saturday night and work on his dirt cars with him.”
All three of the original “Gang” members will be onsite at the speedway for the special occasion. The cars of Bobby, Donnie and Red will be staged along the backstretch accompanied by those of fellow members Davey Allison and Neil Bonnett, whose lives were both cut short in tragic events. Additionally, the group will give the starting command for Saturday’s ARCA race.