Tony Stewart will honor NASCAR legend Bobby Allison at this year’s Bojangles’ Southern 500 with a throwback paint scheme similar to that run by Allison between 1970-73.
Stewart’s No. 14 Chevrolet SS will be one of about two-dozen cars running a special throwback look at Darlington next month. The same red and gold scheme adorned Allison’s No. 12 Dodge Charger in 1970 and ’71 and carried over to his Chevrolet Monte Carlo in ‘72 and his Chevrolet Chevelle in ’73.
Allison was known for racing in NASCAR’s premier series while also finding time to compete in small, local short-track events across the Midwest and Northeast. Similarly, Stewart has been known to race in small sprint car races in his free time. Allison says he and ‘Smoke’ are ‘cut from the same cloth.”
“I appreciate his enthusiasm for the sport, his ability, his willingness to go anywhere anytime and run different kinds of tracks, different kinds of equipment,” Allison said. “I ran different kinds but I never really got into the dirt Super Mods or anything. I did run them just a little, never dug into that, which he has. And he’s won. I won in quite a few, but not all of them. I look at that and really appreciate him.”
Stewart’s has a similar amount of respect for Allison, with the 45-year old saying he “can’t remember what I had for lunch most days,” but he can easily remember the first time he saw Allison race. The 45-year old has never scored a win at Darlington, so he’ll be looking to channel his inner Allison come September.
“He was fierce in a race car,” Stewart said of Allison. “You knew that if he was out there you were going to have to be on your game to beat him that day.”
“(Darlington) is one of two Cup tracks that we run that I’ve not won a Cup race at … this is my last chance to cross another one, and a big one, off the list. And it’s going to be in a really cool car too.”