An evening race postponed by rain was run in its entirety and finished with an emotional win. The ModSpace 125 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards event saw a contest between two drivers from dynastic racing families – the Kimmels and the Allisons.
Justin Allison channeled his inner driving prowess to capture the win, his first in the series.
Will Kimmel proudly took second for his family-owned and operated team.
If you are an ARCA fan and did not know the Allison name or the lore of the Alabama Gang, you will now.
Allison’s granddad is original Alabama Gang member Donnie Allison, a successful driver in his own right.
His great uncle is NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison.
His cousins were the late Davey and Clifford Allison.
His cousin Robbie, Davey’s son, is starting to make a name for himself in lower level stock cars.
There is no doubt Allison comes from a racing lineage.
But name is not enough in this business anymore. A name may make sponsors interested but success on the track is what matters and Allison has shown he has the mettle to compete and win races.
In June I talked at length with Donnie Allison in the ARCA garages while his grandson’s car was being prepared. I asked him if he believed racing talent was inherited.
Donnie didn’t believe that was true, but he did see that Justin has unmistakable talent and he knew it the first time the younger Allison climbed into a car.
In the June race Allison earned a fifth place finish. It was a decent run.
He returned to the Tricky Triangle this weekend and showed that the Allison name is still relevant and dominant by earning his first victory in the series.
While in the media center after his inaugural win, Allison responded to my question about maintaining focus in the face of the media attention and barrage of Alabama Gang references sure to be coming his way in the wake of the victory.
Allison said he understands his family lineage, history, and importance in the sport as well as at Pocono Raceway, but that he has to continue to perform and concentrate on the next race as that’s the most important one.
At 21, Allison seems to have his head on his shoulders, his priorities set, and accepts his place in the Alabama Gang/Allison legacy.