Tha Sports Junkies 101

Stewart Honors Allison With Coca-Cola Throwback

Frank Velat


Tony Stewart has always been a fan of Bobby Allison and Coca-Cola. On September 4th at Darlington Raceway, he will get the chance to drive a car that pays tribute to both.

Stewart and Allison were on hand Wednesday afternoon at the NASCAR Hall of Fame to reveal the design, a recreation of the red and gold Coke sponsored car Allison piloted during the 1971 and 1972 seasons. Bobby used it to a win the 1972 Southern 500 from the pole position, one of his 5 career victories at the 1.366 mile egg shaped oval. He finished his Hall of Fame career with 84 total wins in the premier series of NASCAR and was the 1983 champion.

For 3 time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart, it made perfect sense to combine his admiration for Bobby and his longtime affiliation with Coke. “I’ve always loved Coke, going back to when I used to reach for one for breakfast.” Stewart has been part of the Coca-Cola sponsored drivers since his rookie year in 1999.

The Rushville, IN native will retire at season’s end. Darlington is the only track remaining on the schedule where Stewart has not yet won a Sprint Cup race. “(Darlington) is the 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.” Stewart collected his 49th career win in June at Sonoma and has enjoyed a strong summer run that has him on the brink of making the chase. A fourth title would move Stewart into a tie with Jeff Gordon for fourth most all time.

Tony said he enjoys the throwback traditions that the Southern 500 has featured over the past 2 seasons. When asked what else he would like to see incorporated into the weekend, Stewart responded with his usual humorous candor. “I don’t know, I’ve heard a lot of stories from old crews and old drivers of stuff they used to do during the weekend. I’d love to see some of that come back but I think that era has long passed us by…(laughter)…You guys are laughing cuz you know about the same stories I know.”

The Bojangles Southern 500 will be televised on NBC on September 4th at 6pm.