In a life cut tragically short because of a helicopter accident at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993, it was almost as if Davey Allison knew he had to make his mark quickly. Allison won twice as a rookie in 1987 – at Talladega and Dover Downs International. His legacy will be honored with induction into the 2019 Hall of Fame.
Because of his untimely death, Allison lacks the numbers of other Hall of Fame members. He never earned a championship and scored only 19 wins. But then again, he started only 191 races at NASCAR’s top level, which gives him a winning percentage of 10 percent.
And he may have come within 43 laps of winning the 1992 championship before he was eliminated in an accident in the season-ending Hooters 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Allison raced for his family and the fans. He won the 1992 Daytona 500, but counted a second-place finish in that race as his favorite memory – because it came on the bumper of his father Bobby Allison, who was inducted in the Hall in 2011.
In a phone interview with Krista Voda and Kyle Petty, Davey’s widow Liz Allison recalled the relationship Davey had with the people who supported him.
“To me, the most special thing about Davey was his relationship with his fans,” Liz Allison said. “He just had a way of being able to relate and the fans felt like they were truly a part of Davey – a part of his team.”
Liz described instances when she had to pry Davey away from the fence because he was busy signing autographs.
The positivity Davey gave to the fans also impacted his attitude behind the wheel.
“He always was an upper,” Bobby Allison said after the announcement that Davey would join him in the Hall. “When things went wrong, he always would say ‘we’ll get ‘em tomorrow, and we’ll be fine.’”