Sunday, February 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Davey Allison!!


Davey celebrates with father Bobby
Credit: RacingOne MultiMedia
If you are a longtime NASCAR fan you undoubtedly know the name Allison. Bobby Allison is being inducted to the second class for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and he and brother Donnie were two of the original “Alabama Gang”. Bobby had two sons, Davey and Clifford, who were following in their dad’s tire tracks. Unfortunately, tragedy struck twice in the Allison family. First, fate claimed Clifford on August 13, 1992 at Michigan International Speedway during practice for the Detroit Gasket 200 in the NASCAR Busch Series. Injuries sustained on the track took the young Allison’s life. Within a year, on July 12, 1993, while piloting his helicopter to Talladega to take part in the race, Davey Allison crashed and perished.

As a mother, I cannot imagine the unbreakable sadness that would grip me losing not just one but also two of my sons. The enormity would be too much for me to bear. And then, as an extra cruel twist of fate, having the death dates less than a year apart and at the same time of the month would simply do me in. Bobby, having dealt with his own tragic career-ending crash, was dealt the most unfair of hands, and yet, to this day, is still a great ambassador for NASCAR. He does what most of us take for granted; he gets up each morning and breathes. For those of you who have lived through tragedy and adversity, you know how difficult that one activity can be.

The Allisons were a dynasty in NASCAR; a racing family that was supposed to endure through the generations. Davey and younger brother Clifford were talented and good and primed to be the next generation of the “Alabama Gang”. Davey, several times, was a breath away from sitting at the lead table at the Waldorf Astoria. Many have pondered, “What if Davey lived” scenarios that include “would Dale Earnhardt have won as many Cups?” No one will ever know.

As 2011 unfolds, many anniversaries have been marked, most notably the ten year anniversary of Dale Earnhardt’s death. This spring Bobby Allison will take his rightful place in the NASCAR Hall of Fame. But, before we bid February adieu and look ahead, I just wanted to point out that February 25, 2011 marked Davey Allison’s fiftieth birthday.  As a fan in Davey’s heyday, it is hard for me to wrap my brain around that.  It was important for me to bring Davey’s name back to the forefront for a moment. I’m sure Bobby hasn’t forgotten; I just wanted him to know, I haven’t forgotten either.

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