David “Davey” Allison was born to the son of NASCAR series champion Bobby Allison and the nephew of NASCAR driver Donnie Allison.
Having grown up in the racing world, Davey would naturally begin to race as well.
After racing in numerous series and rising through the ranks, Davey would make it to the NASCAR Busch series in the early 1980’s and in 1985, made his debut in the NASCAR Cup series.
In 1988, Bobby Allison nearly was killed when his car crashed at Pocono, Pennsylvania.
He suffered permanent damage to his memory and his balance and had to stop racing, although he stayed in the sport as an owner.
At the time of his death, Davey Allison had only recently returned to racing as a driver, having suffered a concussion and broken an arm and ribs a year earlier, also in Pocono.
Almost a year before Allison’s helicopter crash, his younger brother, racer Clifford Allison, then 27, died in a car crash during practice in Brooklyn, Michigan.
At the time of the crash, Allison was headed from his home in Hueytown, Alabama to the Talladega Super-speedway, to watch driving friend David Bonnett practice.
Bonnet, along with his father Neil Bonnett and Allison himself were all part of a tight-knit racing cadre led by Bobby Allison and dubbed the Alabama Gang.
Allison’s father suffered the same injury in the auto accident that ended his career.
After Bobby Allison’s accident, he joined the board of directors of the National Head Injury Foundation.
This nonprofit group’s mission is to help victims of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the families of victims.
After Allison’s death, the National Head Injury Foundation established a fund in Allison’s name to educate people about TBI.
On the 22nd of April 1979 Bobby accompanied Davey, together with his friends to his first race at Birmingham International Raceway when he finished 20th and after six starts at Birmingham Davey won his first race on the 5th May 1979.
This was not only Davey’s first year of racing but the first time father and son was to race against each other.
This was a good year for a youngster who had built his own car from second-hand parts and he had thirty-four starts, five wins, twenty top fives and twenty-nine top ten positions.
Davey went from strength to strength, progressing from Limited Sportsman events, NASCAR Grand American, Automobile Racing Club of America (ARCA), and Busch Grand National through to the Winston Cup.
In 1983 he earned his first Superspeedway pole and first Superspeedway victory at Talladega.
1984 saw him as the ARCA “Rookie of the Year” and the first winner of the Bill France Triple Crown award.
Continuing with ARCA saw him by the end of 1985 ARCA’s all time leader on Superspeedways.
During his racing career with NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Davey drove in 191 races over a nine year period, he had nineteen wins, ninety two top ten and fourteen pole positions and with the NASCAR Nationwide Series he raced in eighty six races over a ten year period with no wins, thirty one top ten and two pole positions.
In his cup series career, he would make 191 starts and win 19 races, the most notable being the 1992 Daytona 500.
On August 13, 1992, Davey’s younger brother Clifford, who raced in the NASCAR Busch series, was killed while running practice laps at Michigan International Speedway.