Thursday, May 23, 2013


Neil Bonnett of the Alabama Gang
The Alabama Gang:  arguably the most-famous "name" group of drivers in Nascar history.  Hailing from Hueytown, the first generation consisted of Bobby Allison, his brother Donnie, and independent driver Red Farmer.  Those three were later joined by the colorful Neil Bonnett.  The second generation consisted of Bobby's sons Davey and Clifford, both who reached tragic ends, and Donnie's son-in-law Hut Stricklin.

Them Battlin' Bodines:  this derogatory nickname for the three Bodine brothers (Geoffrey, Brett and Todd) came about during a family feud in the mid-90's that occasionally spilt on-track.

W.A.L.L.A.C.E.:  a derogatory nickname for the three Wallace brothers (Rusty, Kenny and Mike) that came about during Rusty's early-90's rivalry with Dale Earnhardt.  Stands for "We All Look Like A**h***s Chasing Earnhardt".

Busch-Whackers:  this term was first used in the 90's to describe Cup drivers dropping down to the Busch Series to run (and typically dominate) companion races.  The nickname has stuck despite Nationwide Insurance taking over sponsorship of the series.  Ironically, Kyle Busch is now the most (in)famous of this group.

Aero-Warriors:  in the late-60's, the slogan "Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday" was the law of the land.  With
Richard Petty's Superbird
Superspeedways Daytona and Talladega hosting the biggest (and most-famous) races of the day, manufacturers came out with "aero-warriors"--huge cars built to take advantage of the aerodynamic draft at these tracks.  Such cars were the Ford Torino Talladega, the Dodge Charger Daytona, and the famed Plymouth Superbird.

Independents:  in the 60's and 70's, only a handful of superstar drivers received support from the manufacturers.  The majority of the rest of the field was made up of teams that worked on their cars with little or no technical (or monetary) support from Detroit.  The best of these--those who competed on a regular basis--were nicknamed "The Independents".  Arguably the most-famous independent driver was Dave Marcis, although J.D. McDuffie and Elmo Langley were also fan favorites.  In addition, Richard Childress retired from an independent driving career to become one of Nascar's most-successful team owners--ironically with a lengthy sponsorship from GM.

Young Guns:  with the success of Jeff Gordon at an early age, Nascar teams began looking for the Next Big Thing, coming up with driver development programs to get young drivers to the Cup level as early as possible.  The most-successful of this group (particularly in the early 00's) were nicknamed "Young Guns", especially after participating in a Gillette promotion of the same name.

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