|Occupation:||Race Car Driver|
|Birth Day:||February 25, 1961|
|Death Date:||Jul 13, 1993 (age 32)|
|Birth Place:||Hollywood, United States|
As per our current Database, Davey Allison died on Jul 13, 1993 (age 32).
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His father told him he had to graduate high school before starting his racing career.
Davey's chance to win the Winston Million was up next as the series headed to Darlington for the Mountain Dew Southern 500, which was worth both a million dollar bonus if he could win the Small Slam, but moreover, become the fourth driver to win the Career Grand Slam. There was a promotion for the event as fake Million Dollar Bills were printed with Allison's face on them were handed out for fans. Davey led 72 laps of the event and was in contention to win, but soon after the leaders pitted for tires and fuel, rain halted the race with 69 laps left. Instead it was Darrell Waltrip, gambling that the rains would come, did not pit and was leading the race when it was red flagged. He was declared the winner as darkness fell and the rains continued. Waltrip, who had long feuded with the entire Allison clan (Bobby and Donnie; ironically, Waltrip had replaced Donnie Allison with the DiGard team in 1975 and was a relief driver for one of Donnie's wins at Talladega), sat next to his car on pit road in lawn chair and held a colorful umbrella, gleefully joking that the rain shower was worth "one million dollars" to him as he became the fourth driver to finish a Career Grand Slam. (This was the second time Waltrip prevented a driver from clinching a Small Slam; in 1985, he stopped Bill Elliott's 1985 run at a Small Slam at Charlotte and Elliott has yet to win that leg of the Grand Slam; Elliott would take the Small Slam at Darlington in September; Dale Earnhardt stopped Waltrip's Small Slam and Career Grand Slam attempt three years previously at Darlington.) Davey finished fifth and was now 119 points behind Elliott, who finished third.
Growing up, Allison participated in athletics, preferring football, but settled upon automobile racing. He began working for his father's NASCAR Winston Cup Series team after graduating high school, and built a race car of his own, a Chevy Nova, with friends known as the "Peach Fuzz Gang". He began his career in 1979 at Birmingham International Raceway and won his first race in his sixth start. He became a regular winner at BIR, and by 1983 was racing in the Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA) series. Allison won two ARCA events at his home track, Talladega Superspeedway, in 1983, and was named ARCA Rookie of the Year in 1984, placing second in the series title. That same year he married his first wife, Deborah.
When the race resumed, Davey continued to run up front and when Elliott exited the race with engine failure, Davey's toughest competition was eliminated. With darkness falling on the Talladega Superspeedway during a late caution flag, the decision was made to end the race 10 laps short of its 188 lap distance. Running second on the restart, Davey passed leader Dale Earnhardt on the backstretch and pulled away for his first Winston Cup win. In winning the race, Davey became the first rookie since Ron Bouchard in 1981 to win a Winston Cup event.
Allison continued racing in the ARCA series in 1985, winning eight races in the series, four at Talladega Superspeedway. He competed in some of NASCAR's lower divisions. In the Busch series, his crew chief was Red Farmer. In July 1985, car owner Hoss Ellington gave Allison an opportunity to drive a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car in the Talladega 500. Allison qualified 22nd In Ellington's Chevrolet and finished 10th in his first Winston Cup start. The wins earned Allison more NASCAR Cup Series opportunities in 1986, when he made 4 starts in the No. 95 Sadler Racing Chevrolet entry with Tom Pistone serving as crew chief. Davey later substituted for injured racer Neil Bonnett in Junior Johnson's No. 12 Budweiser Chevy, starting and finishing 7th in the Talladega 500.
May 3, 1987 would become an infamous day in NASCAR history. Earlier in the week, Bill Elliott had qualified his No. 9 Coors-Melling Ford Thunderbird at a record 212.809 mph (a record which still stands today) for the Winston 500 at the unlighted Talladega Superspeedway. Davey Allison would qualify third, while father Bobby would start second alongside Elliott in the Stavola Brothers No. 22 Miller Buick. On lap 22 of the event, Bobby Allison ran over a piece of debris, cutting his right-rear tire. The car turned sideways, lifted into the air, became airborne, and crashed vertically into the frontstretch spectator fence near the start finish line. The car landed back on the track and collected a number of other competitors. Davey was ahead of his father at the time and saw the crash unfold in his mirror. Bobby Allison was not injured, but the crash slightly injured several spectators and the race was red-flagged for two hours and thirty-eight minutes. It was this event that triggered the requirement of smaller carburetors, and later, carburetor restrictor plates on engines at Daytona and Talladega to reduce the top speeds.
Davey would better that feat just 28 days later by winning the Budweiser 500 at Dover International Speedway (then the Dover Downs International Speedway), becoming, at the time, the only rookie to win two Winston Cup events. In all, Davey started 22 of the 29 Winston Cup races in 1987, winning twice, and scoring nine top-five and 10 top-ten finishes. He also won five poles in his rookie season.
The 1988 season started with much promise. Davey again started outside the front row for the Daytona 500, the first modern day race utilizing the NASCAR mandated carburetor restrictor plate. While father Bobby was battling up front early in the race, Davey and his team struggled with a car that was repaired during the early morning hours following a crash in the final practice session. But as the race came to a conclusion, Davey found himself running second, just behind his legendary father. Bobby Allison would go on to hold off his son and win his third Daytona 500. Father and son would celebrate their one-and-two finish in victory lane. Both would consider this the greatest moment of their lives.
With his father clinging to life in a Pennsylvania hospital, Davey Allison raced on but failed to finish the next three events. The team rebounded when the series returned to Pocono in July with Davey scoring a third-place finish. Back at Talladega, the No. 28 Ford again suffered engine failure but Davey would drive his father's car later in the race when relief driver Mike Alexander was overcome by heat. Two races later, Davey would score his first win of the season at Michigan International Speedway. The win changed the fortunes for the financially strapped team and after a series of top-5 and top-10 finishes, Davey would win the inaugural race at the new Richmond International Raceway. On October 1, 1988, Ranier sold the team to Yates, who temporarily remained as Allison's crew chief for the balance of the season, before undertaking full ownership. The rest of the season was a mixed bag but Davey would finish the season with a third-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway, and a second at the season ending Atlanta Journal 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He would finish eighth in the final Winston Cup standings. But the roller coaster 1988 Winston Cup season had taken a toll on Davey Allison's marriage and he and Deborah quietly divorced during the offseason.
Davey Allison's 1989 season did not start well. A year after he and his father's one-two Daytona 500 finish, Davey started at 16th, then was involved in an early incident with Geoff Bodine that sent his car careening into the sand bar separating the track's backstretch from Lake Lloyd. The car made one slow, complete, roll-over with Davey eventually restarting the car and driving it back to the pits. He drove the damaged, hood-less car to a 25th-place finish and had a heated exchange with Bodine following the race (the first of several exchanges with other drivers during his career).
The 1990 season did not start much better than the 1989 season and by the sixth race at Bristol, Davey was a 17th in the Winston Cup standings. A poor qualifying run had the team pitting in the backstretch pits, which usually doomed a team's chances of winning the race. But Robert Yates decided against pitting on the final caution flag and Davey scored his second short-track win in a thrilling photo-finish with Mark Martin, winning by just eight inches. But the win did not change the team's fortunes and after an ill-handling car at Dover required Davey to ask for relief from fellow Alabama driver Hut Stricklin, Robert Yates decided to hire "Suitcase" Jake Elder as the team's crew chief. Davey won the fall event at Charlotte Motor Speedway but finished the season 13th in the final Winston Cup standings. He again posted two wins, but only five top-five and 10 top-ten finishes.
The 1991 season began with much promise. Davey won the pole for the Daytona 500 and was in contention for the win until the final laps. After a late race restart, eventual winner Ernie Irvan passed Dale Earnhardt for the lead. Davey tried to follow Irvan around Earnhardt but could not make the pass and the two drivers battled side by side for a few laps. As the cars came off turn two, Earnhardt's car spun, collecting Allison and Kyle Petty. Davey was unable to continue and finished 15th. From there, things went downhill. Davey finished 12th at Richmond, 16th at Rockingham, then crashed hard early in the Motorcraft 500 at Atlanta, finishing 40th. Davey was openly feuding with crew chief Elder, and Allison threatened to quit the team if Elder stayed. After the poor result at Atlanta, Robert Yates decided that he had to make a change at crew chief.
Statistically, 1992 was Davey Allison's best season in Winston Cup racing. Davey started sixth in the 1992 Daytona 500 but was probably not quite as fast as the Junior Johnson teammates of Bill Elliott and Sterling Marlin. But the race would change dramatically on lap 92 when Elliott, Marlin, and Ernie Irvan triggered a multi-car crash at the front of the pack. Fourteen cars were eliminated, but Allison—and eventual runner-up Morgan Shepherd—somehow made it through the mess. He would dominate the event, lead 127 laps to join his father as a Daytona 500 winner. Allison also held the distinction of being the only driver to lead the Daytona 500 at halfway and go on to win, something not repeated until Denny Hamlin won the 2016 running of the race.
The 1992 Hooters 500 would be a milestone race in NASCAR Winston Cup history. It would be the final race of Richard Petty's career, as well as the first for future Winston Cup Champion Jeff Gordon. Couple that with the closest championship race in history, and the race was destined to be a classic. Davey Allison entered the race needing only to finish fifth or better to win the Winston Cup. A first lap incident involving Rick Mast caused minor damage to Davey's car, and he battled through much of the race to stay in the top ten.
Though 1992 had been a heartbreaking year for Davey Allison and the Robert Yates Racing team in more ways than one, they had to be encouraged by their run for the championship. But 1993 opened on a sour note with Allison finishing 28th at Daytona. That finish was followed by a 16th at Rockingham, but Davey rebounded to win at Richmond the following week. The next race at Atlanta was delayed a week by a blizzard that blanketed much of the Southeast. Morgan Shepherd won the race and Davey finished 13th. He then posted an 11th at Darlington. Despite the early season struggles, Davey was sixth in the Winston Cup standings, while defending series champ Kulwicki was ninth.
Davey Allison had debuted in the International Race of Champions (IROC) in 1992, but his injuries forced him to miss the last two races.
Allison's livery style has been used as tributes by Ford (Robert Yates NASCAR Hall of Fame), Dr. Pepper / 7 Up Group (an associate sponsor of Allison in 1992 and 93), and Chevron (at least two occasions, primarily at Talladega, the Battlestar livery has been used as a retro livery). Most notably, Irvan put the 1987 Battlestar livery on the pole at the October 1997 Talladega race, much to the delight of fans.
On July 12, 1993, Allison boarded his newly acquired Hughes 369HS helicopter to fly to Talladega Superspeedway to watch family friend Neil Bonnett and his son David test a car for David's Busch Series debut. He picked up another family friend, racer Red Farmer, en route to the track. Allison was attempting to land the helicopter inside a fenced-in area of the track infield when the craft nosed up suddenly, then crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed the crash on Allison's inexperience in helicopters, coupled with the decision to attempt a landing. Neil Bonnett freed the semi-conscious Farmer from the wreckage, but Allison was unresponsive and could not be freed until paramedics arrived. Farmer went on to a lengthy but successful recovery, but Allison never regained consciousness after sustaining a critical head injury. He was pronounced dead at 7:00 a.m. the next morning by a neurosurgeon at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham after a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain proved unsuccessful.
Allison was posthumously inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1998, and in 2018 he was announced as an inductee of the NASCAR Hall of Fame where he was formally inducted in 2019.
Liz Allison and their two children moved to Nashville and she married physical therapist Ryan Hackett on May 13, 2000. After being divorced for four years, Bobby and Judy Allison reunited at the wedding, after nearly seven years of tragedy had separated them.
Note: Starting in 2003, only one inactive driver was voted, unlike the past, when two were voted. The Board of Directors also inducted an active driver in 2000.
On April 28, 2003, the mayor of Hueytown, Alabama, declared it Davey Allison Day and is celebrated on the weekend of the springtime Talladega race.
Currently, Davey Allison is 60 years, 0 months and 7 days old. Davey Allison will celebrate 61st birthday on a Friday 25th of February 2022.
Find out about Davey Allison birthday activities in timeline view here.