The son of racing great Bobby Allison, Davey was injured in a crash while landing his helicopter at Talladega Superspeedway on July 12 1993 and died the next day.
David Carl Allison was born on February 25,1961 in Hollywood, Florida. He was the son of racing great Bobby Allison and his wife Judy. Davey was born on the eve of Bobbys first Daytona 500. He was the eldest of four children, sister Bonnie, brother Clifford and sister Carrie. In 1963 Bobby moved his family to Hueytown, Alabama, which was later dubbed the "biggest little racing town in the land".
Davey always had an athletic nature, he played many sports growing up in Hueytown including baseball, basketball and football which he preferred. But racing was his calling. He began working at Bobby Allison Racing at the age of 12. One of Bobby's rules was that Davey graduate high school before begining a racing career, no GED allowed. So he attended summer school in order to completed high school in 1979 four months earlier than the rest of his class and began working full time for Bobby Allison Racing. He was allowed the use of his fathers shop and equipment to build his first race car Chevrolet Nova built from an old shell given to him by his Uncle Donnie Allison.
Being the son a a famous man such as Bobby Allison did not mean that Davey had it easy. Bobby was often hard on his son making him work for what he had in an effort to teach Davey values. Davey was only allowed to work on his car after regular working hours at Bobby Allison Racing. But Davey made the best of what he had, he would take the hand-me-downs he could get and spend hours reconditioning them.
Davey had some friends and accompanied him to races. They became known as the peach fuzz gang. On April 22, 1979 the peach fuzz gang along with Bobby Allison and a couple of his workers accompained Davey to his first race in Birmingham. Davey finished 20th. His first win came after six starts at Birmingham on May the 5th.
Bobby was on hand to see his son's first victory. The following day Bobby won a cup race at Talladega. This year would not only be Daveys first year of racing but would also be the first year father and son squared off on the race track with Davey finishing 6th and father 16th after Bobby had engine problems. Daveys first year was an eventful year with 34 starts, five wins, 20 top fives and 29 top tens. Not a bad first year for a young man who worked on his on cars made from hand-me-down equipment.
Daveys career in racing continued growing and advancing year by year from Limited Sportsman events, NASCAR Grand American, ARCA, Busch Grand National, NASCAR Dash, All Pro, ASA, DIRT, Grand American and International Sedan (now DASH) to Winston Cup.
Davey really started to make is mark in racing in ARCA division. By 1983 he had earned his first superspeedway pole and firstsuperspeedway victory at Talladega. He started his first Busch Grand National race and entered a handful of NASCAR Dash races tieing serices Champion Michael Waltrip for Most Popular Driver.
By 1984 he had earned the ARCA Rookie of the Year and losing the series title by 25 points after missing one race while on his honeymoon. He was the first winner of the ARCA Bill France Triple Crown award.
He continued in ARCA and by the end of 1985 was ARCA's all-time leader on superspeedways. 1985 also marked Daveys first Winston Cup start, driving for Hoss Ellington qualifying 22nd and finishing 10th.
In 1986 Davey continued in ARCA and raced more Winston Cup races. He filled in for an injured Neil Bonnett in Junior Johnsons car at Talladega starting and finishing 7th and leading twice.
1987 was the turning point in Davey's career. He raced for Ranier-Lundy's Winston Cup team starting only 22 of 29 races. He gave a new meaning to the word rookie and there has not been a rookie to match his rookie season to date. Davey became the first rookie to sit on the front row for the Daytona 500 qualifying second at 209 mph. With only 10 career Winston Cup races to his credit and in only the second race of the season he scored his first pole position. He racked up five pole positions and three outside polls for an unprecedented eight front row starts. He won his first Winston Cup race at Talladega and followed with a second win two races later at Dover to become the only rookie drive to win two super speedway races in a rookie season. Davey almost won three more races that season only to finished second by less than a second, one second and two seconds. He finished the season 21st in points earning Rookie of the Year and holds the record for rookie earnings.
1988 started out to be a good year, with Davey finishing second to Bobby in the Dayton 500. Davey captured back to back poles at Talladega and Charlotte. But tragedy struck in June when Bobby was critically injured in an accident in the Pocono race. Injuries suffered in the accident put an end to Bobby Allisons career as a race car driver. After his fathers accident Davey was faced with many family responsibilities. Despite this he went on to win his third and fourth Winston Cup races and finished the year eighth in the points standing. Harry Rainer sold his team operation to Robert Yates in October.
Davey had another good year in 1989 he earned his fifth Winston Cup race at Talladega making it his second Talladega win. He also posted his sixth career Winston Cup win and another pole position. He finished the year 11th in the points standings. 1989 also marked a year of happiness in his personal life as he married his second wife "Liz" and later that year their first child was born, Krista Marie.
Davey won his seventh and eighth Winston Cup victories in 1990 and finished the season 13th in the points standings.
Davey's 1991 season began with back to back poles. Larry McReynolds became team crew chief after the fourh race of the season. Under McReynolds direction Davey won five Winston Cup races one pole position and the Winston All-Star race from pole position. Davey added another record to his credit by becoming the driver to have led more race, more time for more miles than any other driver in the history of Winston Cup. He had led 23 races, led 73 times and led 1,879.12 miles. He finished the season 3rd in the points standings and won numerous awards for the season. Davey and Liz were blessed with the birth of a second child Robert Grey.
Davey won the 1992 Daytona 500 adding his and Bobby's name as the second father and son duo to win the Daytona 500 to the history books.
The Allison family suffered the loss of "Pop" Allison, Davey's grandfather and Davey was injured at the Bristol race. Davey Went on to win the race at North Wilksboro despite injuries after Jimmy Hensley qualified his car and dedicated his win to the memory of his grandfather.
Davey was reinjured at Martinsville but went on to qualify second and win the Winston 500 at Talladega the following week.
After two days in the hospital with a bout with a virus Davey captured the pole at Pocono and lead 115 laps before Darrell Waltrip tagged him causing a horrific accident flipping him 11 times. Davey was seriously injured and hospitalized. At this point in the year he trailed the points leader by 19 points, this was the first time he dropped from the points lead all year. Despite being hospitalized Davey ran practice a week later at Talladega, Bobby Hillin qualifed the car third and Davey ran till the first caution and turned the car back over to Hillin who finished third putting Davey back in the points lead.
Clifford, Davey's brother, the youngest of Bobby and Judy's children was killed in a crash during practice for a Bush race in Brookyln on August 13th. Davey finished his first race since his injuries after qualifying 3rd, he finished 5th.
He was denied a win and the Winston Million at Darlington due to a rain out; the race was called right after he pitted putting him in 5th.
For the next five races, he failed to finish in the top 10 but finished in the top 15. He won at Phoenix and was back in the points lead.
At The last race of the season at Atlanta, with Davey in 6th, less than 100 laps to go, a Winston Cup Championship in site, Ernie Irvan loses control of his car spins in front of Davey. Leaving Davey with no where to go. Davey gets out of his car and waves to the fans. Davey finished the season 3rd in points. Finished the year again with the most top 5 finishes, laps and miles led, /1,362/2,315, he also held a tie in the most wins for the season at 5.
With a year like 1992, 1993 began disappointingly with only one win in 19 races despite 5 top fives and 8 top tens and a 5th place standing in the points. But the year would turn out to be more than disappointing it would turn out to be a year of great sadness to the racing world, a year that would forever change the face of racing and many peoples lives forever. Davey was tradgically injured in a crash while trying to land his helicopter at Talladega Superspeedway on July 12 1993 and died the next day.