In 1987 Bobby Allison survived one of the nastiest, and almost deadliest, crashes in NASCAR history when he blew a tire that caused his car to violently spin into the Talladega catch fence at more than 200 mph.
Had Allison’s car reached the stands – and thank God it did not – this event easily would have gone down as one of the biggest sports-related tragedies of all time.
What is amazing, when you watch the video, is that the fence held. Thin, linked pieces of metal prevented tons of steel flying through the air at 200 mph from almost certainly killing dozens, if not hundreds, of fans. The car tore a hole in the fence 100 yards long and several people were injured.
The Allison crash ushered in the era of restrictor plate racing, the likes of which will be on display this weekend at Talladega.