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Biography

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Overview (3)

Born in Hueytown, Alabama, USA
Died in Talladega, Alabama, USA  (helicopter crash)
Birth NameDavid Carl Allison

Mini Bio (1)

The son of NASCAR racing legend Bobby Allison, Davey Allison was born to race. Born in Hollywood, Florida in 1961, the family relocated to Hueytown, Alabama and became known as the "Alabama Gang" in NASCAR circles. Davey was the first, second-generation "Alabama Gang" driver and carried on the tradition established by his father, his uncle Donnie Allison, Neil Bonnett, and Red Farmer. Davey first raced in 1979 on a Birmingham, Alabama short track, scoring his first win in only his sixth start. He graduated from high-school early and concentrated solely on his racing career. His climb to NASCAR's top division started in 1983 when he competed in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) series, and the NASCAR Dash Series. That year, he won his first superspeedway race in the ARCA event at Talladega. The success continued in 1984 when he won the ARCA Rookie of the Year, and three ARCA events at Talladega, Atlanta, and Macon, Georgia. He also made his first Winston Cup start in 1984, finishing 10th at Talladega in a Hoss Ellington owned Chevrolet. 1985 brought more wins in ARCA (at Talladega and Atlanta) and three more starts for Hoss Ellington in NASCAR. In 1986, Davey made five Winston Cup starts, four for the Sadler Brothers team, and one for Junior Johnson in relief of family friend Neil Bonnett.

In 1987, Harry Ranier hired Davey to drive his #28 Ford, a ride Cale Yarborough vacated to form his own team. The team got off to a fast start, locking down the outside pole position for the season opening Daytona 500. Pit problems relegated the team to a less than satisfactory finish, but the performance helped lock up a sponsorship deal with Texaco-Havoline. The Ranier team ran a limited schedule during 1987, mainly on tracks over one mile in length. The highlight of the 1987 season came in the Winston 500 at Talladega in May. The race featured a terrifying lap 22 crash in which Bobby Allison's car blew a tire, lifted into the air, and crashed into the grandstand fencing. Davey's father walked away from the crash and the race was delayed more than four hours for repairs to the fence. After the restart, Davey had one of the best cars on the track and was in contention for the win late in the day. With darkness falling on the Talladega Superspeedway, Davey took the lead from Dale Earnhardt on a late race restart and drove to his first Winston Cup win in the event. Later that month, Davey won again at Dover, Delaware, becoming the first NASCAR Winston Cup driver to win two events in his rookie year. His performance netted him Rookie of the Year honors in the Winston Cup series.

In 1988, the Ranier team ran the entire Winston Cup schedule. The year started fast as Davey finished second to his father in the Daytona 500. It was Bobby Allison's third victory in NASCAR's biggest race, and he described the finish with his son as the highlight of his career. Davey's Ranier team struggled through the early part of 1988 before tragedy struck the Allison family. During the opening lap of the June race at Pocono, PA, Bobby Allison's car cut a tire, hit the wall, and then was hit in the driver's side by another car. Bobby suffered near-fatal head injuries in the crash that ultimately ended his racing career. Shaking off the effects of a sub-par season and his father's near-fatal crash, Davey finally won at Michigan in August, and won the inaugural race at the new Richmond International Raceway. On October 1, 1988, the engine builder and crew chief for the Ranier team, Robert Yates, bought the team from the financially struggling Ranier. Thus began one of the most celebrated owner/driver relationships in NASCAR history. Davey won two races each in 1989 and 1990, and finished 8th and 13th in the Winston Cup Championship respectively. The 1991 season started with Davey winning the pole position for the Daytona 500, but the team failed to perform otherwise. Five races into the '91 season, crew chief Larry McReynolds was hired and the team began to perform. Davey dominated the Winston All-star event at Charlotte, and one week later won NASCAR's longest event, the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte. By the end of the 1991 season, Davey had scored five wins and a third place finish in the Winston Cup Championship. This performance made the Robert Yates team a definite championship contender for the 1992 season.

1992 definitely started well. After dodging a mid-race pileup, Davey drove to victory in the Daytona 500. A second at Rockingham, NC, and consecutive fourth place finishes found Davey at the top of the Winston Cup point standings. But a series of setbacks began at Bristol when a hard crash left Allison with fractured ribs among other injuries. That week, his grandfather, Pop Allison, died. Shaking off the effects of the crash and the loss of his grandfather, Davey scored his second win of the year at North Wilkesboro, NC. He won again at Talladega in May, making him eligible to win NASCAR's Winston Million bonus if he could win either the Coca-Cola 600, or the Southern 500 later in the year at Darlington.

Following Talladega, the series moved to the Charlotte for the Winston All-star event and the 600. Davey won the pole for the Winston, the first to be run under the lights, and looked to be in great position to dominate the event as he did the year before. But the race was much closer and ended with a last lap duel between Davey, Kyle Petty, and Dale Earnhardt. Earnhardt spun in turn three on the last lap and was eliminated. As Allison and Petty came to the checkered flag, Allison nosed ahead to win the event. But contact with Petty sent the #28 Havoline Ford into the wall in a shower of sparks. Davey suffered a concussion and spent the night in a Charlotte hospital. With his best car destroyed, Allison failed to win the 600 the following week, but continued to hold the points lead. He dominated at Michigan in June, then spent two nights in a Charlotte hospital with a virus prior the the July race at Pocono. Davey dominated the first half of the Pocono race, but on lap 149, contact with Darrell Waltrip sent his car into the grass off Pocono's tunnel turn. The car lifted and began a violent series of flips. The car finally came to rest upside-down in the Pocono infield. In an accident that could've been much more serious, Davey suffered only a broken arm, broken wrist, heavy bruises, and a concussion. The crash allowed Bill Elliott to grab the points lead from Davey. The next week, Davey practiced and qualified his car at Talladega. He started the race and drove until an early caution flag allowed him to turn the driving over to Bobby Hillin. Hillin drove the car to a third place finish.

Tragedy struck the Allison family again on August 13, 1992, when Davey's brother, Clifford, was killed during NASCAR Busch Series practice at Michigan. Despite the grief, Davey finished fifth at Michigan and continued his quest for the Winston Cup. On September 6, Davey led much of the Southern 500 at Darlington in his attempt to win the Winston Million. Davey was running fifth, however, when rain cut the event short and Darrell Walrtip was declared the winner. Davey didn't win again until the next to last race at Phoenix. The win, coupled with a DNF by Bill Elliott allowed Davey to regain the points lead. Heading into the final race at Atlanta, six drivers, Allison, Elliott, Alan Kulwicki, Harry Gant, Kyle Petty, and Mark Martin, were elligible to win the Winston Cup. While Elliott and Kulwicki dueled at the front of the field, Allison was forced to recover from minor damaged suffered in an early race incident. The Yates team recovered, and Davey was running sixth and in position to claim the title when Ernie Irvan lost control of his car and collected Davey in a late race crash, ending his chances to win the championship. Elliott would win the event, but Kulwicki led the most laps and finished second, thus earning him the Winston Cup by a mere 10 points.

The Yates team was certainly one of the early favorites to win the title in 1993. Davey scored a win at Richmond in March and collected six top-5 and eight top-10 finishes through the inaugural Winston Cup race at the New Hampshire International Speedway on July 11th, a race in which he finished third. On July 12th, 1993, Davey invited family friend and racing legend Red Farmer to travel with him to Talladega to watch David Bonnett (son of Neil Bonnett) test at the superspeedway. They would be travelling in a helicopter Davey had recently purchased. An accomplished pilot, Davey had recently completed the requirements for his helicopter license. But as he attempted to land in a confined area in the speedway's infield, the helicopter nosed up, then crashed to the ground. Neil Bonnett, who was assisting his son and witnessed the crash, pulled Davey and Red from the wreckage. While Red survived with minor injuries, Davey suffered a serious head injury and was air lifted to Caraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham. Early on the morning of July 13, 1993, Davey Allison succumed to his injuries. His death further shook the NASCAR family, which earlier in the year, had lost its champion, Alan Kulwicki, in a plane crash near Bristol, Tennessee. During his brief Winston Cup career, Davey Allison was one of NASCAR racing's brightest stars. In 191 Winston Cup starts, he won 19 times, collected 14 poles, and 66 top-5 finishes. He also won the International Race of Champions (IROC) title, which he was awarded posthumously in 1993. In 1995, Davey Allison was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. In 1998, he was named as one of NASCAR's 50 greatest drivers, and headed a list of six drivers, including Kulwicki, to be inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in Talladega, AL. In honor of his induction into the IMHoF, Robert Yates donated the final car driven by Davey to the IMHoF museum.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (2)

Elizabeth "Liz" Mayson (30 August 1989 - 13 July 1993) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Deborah (1984 - 1988) ( divorced)

Trivia (11)

Graduated early from High School so he could go racing
Came in second place in the 1988 Daytona 500 to his father Bobby Allison. That was Bobby's last win.
His widow, Liz became a NASCAR broadcaster
Was favored to win the 1992 championshop, but crashed early in the last race of the season. Bill Elliot won the race, but Alan Kulwicki won the champoinship
Family friend, and former NASCAR driver Red Farmer was in the helicopter when it crashed
Son of 1983 Winston champion Bobby Allison
Nephew of Donnie Allison
At the time of his helicopter crash, Davey was travelling to the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama to watch Neil Bonnett's son in a private test session. Racing legend Red Farmer was a passenger in the helicopter and survived the crash.
Hobbies were golf and flying.
Inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998.

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