Happy Birthday, Bobby Allison and Rick Mears (VIDEO)

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A pair of racing legends, NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison and four-time Indianapolis 500 winner Rick Mears, are each celebrating their birthdays today.

Allison, who turns 76, was the 1983 Winston Cup champion and also was a multi-time winner in some of the sport’s most prestigious races. He was a four-time winner of the original Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway (1971-72, 1975, 1983), a three-time winner in both the Daytona 500 (1978, 1982, 1988), and a two-time winner of the World 600 – known today as the Coca-Cola 600 – at Charlotte Motor Speedway (1981, 1984).

His 84 Cup victories put him at No. 4 on the all-time wins list. You can see highlights from Allison’s Daytona victory in 1988 below:

Mears, who turns 62, also stands as one of racing’s great competitors. In addition to being just one of three drivers to have earned the distinction of winning the “500” four times (1979, 1984, 1988, 1991), he also holds the record for most “500” poles with six and claimed three IndyCar national championships (’79, 1981, 1982).

A member of multiple racing Hall of Fames, Mears keeps busy these days as a consultant to Team Penske, the squad that helped him achieve his success.

As part of its Centennial Celebration a few years back, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway produced a clip centered around Mears’ victory over Michael Andretti in the ’91 edition of the “500.” You can watch that below as well:

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).