DAYTONA BEACH, FLA., FEB. 14 -- Judy Allison had an unusual dilemma as the lead pack came into view through the final turn of Sunday's Daytona 500.
She couldn't decide whom to root for.
Her husband led. Her oldest son trailed by a car's length.
"I would've been just as happy either way," she said diplomatically after husband Bobby crawled out of his Buick in Victory Lane. "But as long as Bobby won, I was rooting for him."
Bobby Allison, at 50 the oldest driver to win the Daytona 500, earned $202,940. It was his third Daytona 500 victory and his 16th at the track, making him the driver with the most wins in Daytona history. The victory capped a win-filled week in which the veteran beat everyone to the checkered flag in the 125-Mile qualifier Thursday and the Grand National 300-Miler Saturday. Heck, he even won a boat Wednesday in the annual track fishing contest.
Davey Allison finished second in a Ford and Phil Parsons was third in an Oldsmobile today, in a race slowed to 137.531 mph by seven caution periods for 43 laps. It was the slowest Daytona 500 since 1960. Pole sitter Ken Schrader finished sixth.
The father-son one-two finish was the first at Daytona International Speedway, and only the third in NASCAR history.
"I really had mixed emotions coming around the turn," said Davey, 26, as his father walked into the press box for postrace interviews. "I've dreamed about racing against my dad at the wire since I was a little kid, but the only difference is that in my dreams he finished second."
"Would you really have passed me if I'd have let you?" Bobby asked.
"Without a doubt," snapped Davey, the 1987 rookie of the year.
The elder Allison led the field seven times for 70 laps, including the last 18. He started the race third.
The 200-lap race was one of the most exciting in years. It had plenty of lead changes -- 26 among 12 drivers -- and three hours of strategic driving.
The only time the 135,000 or so fans quieted was on lap 106, when Richard Petty's Pontiac hit a wall, rolled over six times and pirouetted on its nose four times before landing in the middle of the track, only to get hit again. Petty, however, was not injured seriously.
The race was different from Daytona 500s of late.
Horsepower was reduced this year because of a new NASCAR carburetor rule, so drivers had to rely more on their moves than they've had to in recent years. Just having the fastest car isn't enough anymore. That was apparent from the start.
Darrell Waltrip, whose Chevy was considered by many to be the most powerful car in the field of 42, jumped ahead in the second lap and stayed there through 10.
But the four cars that trailed him got together on the 11th lap and drifted past him at turn three. He could do little more than watch them pass and scoot his bright-orange "Tide machine" in at the end of the line.
Rusty Wallace took over the lead, followed closely by Bobby Allison. On lap 12, Allison made what was to be his first sneaky move of the day. He pulled up beside Wallace, and with the help of a four-car train, surged ahead. Wallace dropped to fifth.
Then it was Waltrip's turn to show off his driving skill. He worked his way up from fourth to second in two laps, and got underneath Allison coming out of turn three. When the lead pack sped out of turn four, Waltrip was ahead.
Allison took over the lead at lap 50. By lap 63, he was three seconds ahead of the next driver, Dale Earnhardt. Allison stayed in front for the next 36 laps, while Earnhardt and Neil Bonnett battled for second.
With 50 laps to go, the order was Waltrip, Buddy Baker, Earnhardt, Davey Allison and Bobby Allison.
Two laps later, the Allisons moved into the front two spots.
"I was proud when I looked in my mirror and saw my son back there," Bobby said. "But I was glad to be up front."
When asked how long he expects his father to keep winning, Davey said: "I'll probably still be watching him when I'm retired. The old man doesn't give up."
Shortly before the halfway point in the race, a small plane passed over the track pulling a banner that said, "Fans, I miss you, Tim Richmond."
Richmond, who missed most of the 1987 season because of a lingering case of pneumonia, was not able to gain medical clearance to get back in a race car in time to qualify or buy a ride for the season-opening race here.
Richmond, 32, an Ohio native who now lives in Deerfield Beach, Fla., tested positive on a drug test administered last week by NASCAR, then passed another drug test only two days later.DAYTONA 500 RESULTS
1, Bobby Allison, Hueytown, Ala., Buick, 200, $202,940, 137.531 mph; 2, Davey Allison, Hueytown, Ala., Ford, 200, 113,760; 3, Phil Parsons, Denver, N.C., Oldsmobile, 200, 81,625; 4, Neil Bonnett, Hueytown, Ala., Pontiac, 200, 67,290; 5, Terry Labonte, Corpus Christi, Tex., Chevrolet, 200, 62,415; 6, Ken Schrader, Fenton, Mo., Chevrolet, 200, 72,215; 7, Rusty Wallace, St. Louis, Pontiac, 200, 59,990; 8, Sterling Marlin, Columbia, Tenn., Oldsmobile, 200, 43,765; 9, Buddy Baker, Charlotte, N.C., Oldsmobile, 200, 36,490; 10, Dale Earnhardt, Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet, 200, 52,540.
11, Darrell Waltrip, Franklin, Tenn., Chevrolet, 200, 73,840; 12, Bill Elliott, Dawsonville, Ga., Ford, 200, 31,015; 13, Bobby Hillin, Midland, Tex., Buick, 200, 28,320; 14, Geoff Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Chevrolet, 200, 27,305; 15, Rick Wilson, Bartow, Fla., Oldsmobile, 200, 23,165; 16, Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Buick, 200, 18,845; 17, Ricky Rudd, Chesapeake, Va., Buick, 200, 20,125; 18, Kyle Petty, Randleman, N.C., Ford, 199, 23,505; 19, Trevor Boys, Canada, Chevrolet, 199, 15,085; 20, Dave Marcis, Wausau, Wis., Chevrolet, 198, 18,175.
21, Brad Teague, Johnson City, Tenn., Oldsmobile, 198, 13,570; 22, Mike Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Pontiac, 197, 14,065; 23, Steve Moore, Carrollton, Ga., Chevrolet, 195, 13,810; 24, Ed Pimm, Newburgh, N.Y., Buick, 191, 11,605; 25, Jimmy Means, Huntsville, Ala., Chevrolet, 191, 14,250; 26, Ralph Jones, Upton, Ky., Ford, 190, 10,595; 27, Derrike Cope, Spanaway, Wash., Ford, 183, 15,235; 28, Eddie Bierschwale, San Antonio, Oldsmobile, 181, 12,080; 29, Harry Gant, Taylorsville, N.C., Chevrolet, 175, 15,575; 30, Rick Jeffrey, Prospect, Ky., Chevrolet, 174, 11,420.
31, Benny Parsons, Ellerbe, N.C., Ford, 156, 13,390; 32, Alan Kulwicki, Greenfield, Wis., Ford, 148, 14,410; 33, A.J. Foyt, Houston, Oldsmobile, 105, 11,455; 34, Richard Petty, Randleman, N.C., Pontiac, 105, 11,457; 35, Brett Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Ford, 104, 17,870; 36, Phil Barkdoll, Phoenix, Ford, 103, 10,340; 37, Lake Speed, Jackson, Miss., Oldsmobile, 65, 12,860; 38, Cale Yarborough, Sardis, S.C., Oldsmobile, 46, 8,780; 39, Connie Saylor, Johnson City, Tenn., Chevrolet, 32, 9,645; 40, Greg Sacks, Mattituck, N.Y., Pontiac, 22, 12,110; 41, Mark Martin, Batesville, Ariz., Ford, 19, 7,910; 42, Morgan Shepherd, Conover, N.C., Buick, 11, 11,410.
Time of race: 3:38.08.
Margin of victory: 2 1/2 car lengths.
Caution periods: Seven for 43 laps.
Lead changes: 26 among 12 drivers.