Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bobby Allison, forgotten for a day

It was 1998, and I was in the Darlington Raceway infield when I ran into Bobby Allison. I'd talked to him many times, and he'd begun to remember me (despite his memory loss from a 1988 wreck at Pocono).

We wanted to talk, but it was way too hot outside, so we decided to go to the media center. I had a media pass, of course, but Bobby didn't. The young guard didn't recognize Bobby, naturally, and the legendary driver sighed. I smiled. It took some talking, and I think Bobby finally showed him something that let him in. Otherwise, we might have had to talk in that little area between the front door and the media center itself.

When we sat down to talk, I mentioned that to Allison and said, "That guy doesn't know the history of the sport." He sighed again. I asked, "Does that bother you?"

"No, people forget," he said. As for a sense of racing history, "It doesn't mean as much to him as it does to you and me."

We had a nice interview that day, and I think Dick Trickle edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Busch (now Xfinity) race. Bobby Allison and Dick Trickle ... now that's a pair.

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