“What’s your name and are you married?”
It wasn’t a flashy pickup line, but that’s what Davey Allison said when he first met Liz Allison before a race at Summerville Speedway in South Carolina on a low-country, steamy August night.
It was so hot, Liz Allison admits she almost backed out from a friend’s invitation. But the friend, who was dating one of the competitors, promised an exciting time since some NASCAR greats were in town before their premier series race at Darlington.
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Dale Earnhardt and Rusty Wallace were two of the drivers expected to be on hand, so after some coaxing, Liz relented and threw on a T-shirt, some shorts and flip-flops to head out for the race.
When she got to the track, Liz was sitting in the back of a pickup truck before the races got underway when a man who was not exactly dressed for the weather conditions hopped up into the truck and uttered that line.
“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s kind of forward,’ ” Liz Allison said. “He had on black corduroys and a long-sleeved shirt. I thought, ‘Who in the world is this crazy guy with these corduroys on and this long-sleeved shirt when it’s steaming hot here in South Carolina?’
“He started talking to me, and then it was time for him to race, so they asked if he was ready to go. He said, ‘Hey, will you hold my hat for me?’ ”
Liz did not recognized the man, but after several fans came by asking about how Davey qualified at Darlington, she began to get the picture.
“When he came back over, we started talking again and I realized that he was Davey and that’s why these people were asking me where he qualified,” Liz Allison said.
“It was just a short meeting. He jumped on top of the pickup truck, we talked for a few minutes, he raced, he came back for a minute and grabbed his hat back and asked if he could have my phone number. …
“So, I thought, ‘Well now, I won’t hear from him. He won’t call.’ And he did call. He called the next day and so, that’s when I really got to know him. … That was in August and I didn’t see him again until November, so there were a lot of phone calls, and so that’s how I got to know him. We just kind of sparked this friendship over the telephone.”
A friendship that would lead to so much more.