Come January, Davey Allison will hold a place in NASCAR’s Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019.
Consider that the late driver’s second home, as Allison has resided in fans’ hearts for three decades.
Bursting onto the scene full time in 1987, Allison rocketed to Rookie of the Year with two wins and a career high five poles. The son of NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Bobby Allison, it didn’t take much success to achieve fan-favorite status, but Davey over-delivered.
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Allison continued to excel into his early 30s, winning 10.6 percent of his remaining races, his star power increasing by the lap.
Allison had his career and life tragically cut short in 1993 at the age of 32, however, leaving the NASCAR family to mourn. To the fans, the loss was especially heartbreaking.
The love he and his devotees had for each other was deep and mutual.
“I think the reason fans connected so much is because he did go so out of his way and they could see it,” said Krista Allison Sheinfeld, Davey’s daughter. “They could see his genuine friendliness and his genuine care for his fans. He knew they were the reason he had a job outside of obviously his driving talent, but you don’t get very far without fans.”
Following his Hall of Fame nomination this past May, Bobby Allison said that after Davey died, “the mailman delivered 1,300,000 pieces of mail to my house in five weeks.”
“The thing that most people seem to hold on to was when they met him in person,” Allison’s son, Robbie, said. “That’s the thing I hear more often than anything else is, ‘Oh, I met your dad at Pocono, I met your dad at New Hampshire, I met your dad at Talladega. He stopped. He looked me in the eye as he smiled at me. He shook my hand. He talked to me. He signed autographs for six hours after a race.’
“It was always him making time and treating everybody with humility and respect. They saw that he was genuine and he was real and he was humble, but he wouldn’t give up an inch on the track.”
With Allison set to be enshrined, fans who weren’t able to meet the down-to-earth kid from Hueytown, Alabama, before his passing will get a chance to soak in Allison’s legend.
The 19-time winner would’ve loved to see people relive his career.
“He loved the fans. Oh my god, he loved the fans,” Allison’s widow, Liz, said. “He loved the energy that they brought to the sport and loved … listen, he loved that people knew who he was. He loved that he was an Allison. He loved that he had a part of making the sport what it is today. So, I don’t think there was anything that he didn’t love about it.”
And there wasn’t anything fans didn’t love about him.