When Davey Allison climbed into the No. 28 machine and strapped on his helmet, he was a fierce competitor. But off the race track, he loved to get a good laugh.
It takes a ton of moxie and grit to win 19 NASCAR premier series races in such a short time period, but it was Davey’s goofy personality that makes the Class of 2019 NASCAR Hall of Fame driver known for so much more than just his titanic on-track performances.
“He was like a little kid and he was just so funny and goofy, you just couldn’t help but laugh,” his widow, Liz Allison, recalled to NASCAR.com. “He told really stupid jokes that you really wouldn’t laugh at but, because he was so goofy that you would laugh.”
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One story in particular has to do with a turkey call that was found as Liz continues to go through Davey’s possessions, posting them on social media for NASCAR fans. The turkey call recollection always leaves Liz and Davey’s son and daughter, Robbie and Krista, in stitches.
“This makes me laugh really hard because this is a turkey call, and one of the most irritating things ever,” Liz said while opening a fresh box. “And (Davey) used to go through the house and turkey call after (the kids) and … everybody would yell in the house because nobody wanted to hear it, and he thought it was hilarious.
“That’s the goofy side of him that I’m talking about. So, the turkey call is something that makes me laugh.”
“Do you remember when we were little and we used to do this at each other to irritate each other?” Robbie asked Krista during the interview session at Liz Allison’s home in Nashville, Tennessee, earlier this year. “We’d go down in the basement and I remember … when we’d be going to the room where we kept a lot of his stuff, she and I would race into the room so one of us could grab it first and do it to the other one.”
“It makes me cringe,” Krista said.
Moments like the turkey call are ones that keep Liz going and give her the strength to rummage through Davey’s belongings left behind, churning up laughs and lifelong memories through the heartache.
“With them not knowing who their dad was, it was important for them to have everything that they could have to remember their dad,” Liz said. “And part of that is the trophies and the keepsakes.
“They need to have a sense of that goofy, funny Davey because there was so much sadness around who their dad was. I wanted one day for them to be able to pull out that baseball glove and that bowling ball and go, ‘Wow, you know what? This is when dad was having fun. This was when he was wearing that hat and those boots and he was walking proud.’ ”