Saturday, July 13, 2013
Twenty years ago today Davey Allison perished from injuries sustained when he failed to land his helicopter properly in a confined area at Talledega Speedway. He was the son of NASCAR legend Bobby Allison and the nephew of Bobby's brother and fellow legend Donnie. The Allisons, Red Farmer (who was in the crash and is still alive), Davey, Neil Bonnett, Hut Stricklin and Jimmy Means were all part of a group loosely called The Alabama Gang, because they were all from Alabama.
Larry McReynolds, who is now a color commentator and racing analyst for Fox, TNT and a columnist for FoxSports.co, was hired to be his crew chief and they had quite a bit of success. It was assumed that Davey would eventually win the Winston Cup - he mixed it up regularly with Dale Earnhardt, Sr., Bill Elliot, Richard Petty, and Rusty Wallace, all champions as well.
NASCAR has more than a bit of nepotism built right in. Right now, there are several rising stars that are sons of former drivers - Jeb Burton (son of Ward Burton) and Chase Elliot (son of Bill) are a couple that pop into my head. But, there are no more Allisons for NASCAR.
And during that time, drivers weren't just getting killed on the track, no, they were dying in aircraft as well. The very same year Davey died, Alan Kulwicki, the newly crowned Cup champion, was killed in a crash in his sponsor's plane (Hooters).
But these days, they all seem to die on the track.