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For the first time since his June 19 racing accident, veteran driver

July 8, 1988

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ For the first time since his June 19 racing accident, veteran driver Bobby Allison is getting a look at life outside his hospital room.

Allison, in a wheelchair, was allowed to leave the room Thursday at Lehigh Valley Hospital Center but remained in guarded condition, said Ed Gossage, spokesman for Allison’s racing sponsor, Miller Racing.

Gossage said Allison, 51, has been eating solid food since early this week as he recuperates from a concussion and several broken bones suffered in a first-lap crash at the NASCAR Miller 500 at Pocono International Raceway in Long Pond, Pa.

″They told me that he’s clearer and coming out of the sedation that’s been so heavy because of his leg,″ said Gossage. ″There’s nothing wrong with the leg, except that it’s badly broken and it’s hurting. There are no complications. ...

″All in all, it couldn’t be any better.″

The spokesman said a tube remains in Allison’s throat to help him get deep breaths and prohibit fluid buildup in his lungs. He acknowledged it will be quite awhile before it is known whether Allison will be able to drive again.

″He can move his hands and do certain exercises and things on command,″ Gossage said. ″He’s very strong. They’re amazed at his strength.″

The hospital has provided a separate waiting room for the Allison family, he said. Allison has received many visitors and more mail than can be counted. Flowers sent to Allison are being sent to churches or other patients, the cards are given to his family.

A radio station in Greensboro, N.C., WBIG-AM, has arranged for four get- well cards measuring 8 feet by 8 feet to be sent to Allison’s hometown of Hueytown, Ala., Gossage said.

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