by Liz Allison
May 23rd is a big day in the NASCAR world. On this day, five legends of the sport are selected from a nomination pool of 20 to make up the next class of inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
This particular May 23rd was especially meaningful to my family and me. My late husband, Davey, was a star in the sport in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s before his life was cut short in a tragic accident in July at Talladega SuperSpeedway. He was only 32 years old.
The winner of 19 cup wins, 66 top fives, 14 poles. His notable wins included the Daytona 500, The Coca Cola 600, The Pepsi 400, The Winston (now known as the All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway)… He won on short tracks, intermediate tracks, and superspeedways. Davey was in his prime when he died, leaving many to wonder how the NASCAR history books might look if we had not lost him on that dreadful summer day.
The announcement for each year’s Hall of Fame class is made at the NASCAR Hall of Fame after a lengthy debate among the voting panel and then announced live by NASCAR’s Chairman, Brian France.
I, like so many others, was sitting at home watching the announcement on television, hoping and praying Davey’s name would be called out as one of the five NASCAR Hall of Fame inductees for the 2019 class.
After hearing Jeff Gordon, Jack Roush, and Roger Penske’s names, I closed my eyes and held my breath as there were only two names left to announce.
When Brian France called Davey’s name, I leaned over and had to catch my breath. As much as I wanted this for Davey, I honestly didn’t know if it would happen.
All the thoughts and emotions emerged as I thought of how Davey would feel if he were with us. He was such a humble man; how would he have embraced this prestigious honor?
The phone calls from family and friends started immediately and went on for days after this incredible announcement.
I will no longer worry that perhaps Davey won’t be remembered. I won’t worry that his resume wasn’t long enough. He will forever live on as a NASCAR Hall of Famer and for this I am so grateful.
Davey had one last race to win… and he just won it!