A Look Back In Talladega History: Davey Continues The Tradition
In 1982, a well-known rookie driver made his first start at Talladega Superspeedway in the ARCA RE/MAX Series ARCA 200. Though he was new to the high-banks of the grand speedway, he already carried with him the legacy of a famous father and uncle, both of whom had cemented their places in Talladega history. Davey Allison finished third that day and in doing so began etching his own name into the record books.
As the son of NASCAR great Bobby Allison and nephew of Donnie Allison, Davey had high expectations to live up to behind the wheel of a stock car, especially at Talladega Superspeedway. The largely Alabama crowd looked for the second generation “Alabama Gang” member to carry on the winning tradition established by his father and uncle. It was an expectation that the young driver relished.
“Talladega,” Allison said in an early interview, “I can’t really explain it. I’ve always felt at home at Talladega. It’s clearly my favorite speedway”
After a third place finish in his first start at Talladega, Allison would win the next three ARCA RE/MAX Series events at the 2.66 mile speedway, twice after starting from the pole. A thirteenth place finish in the July 1984 ARCA event wouldn’t deter Allison who won again in May of 1985. In his first six starts at Talladega, Allison won four times with a low of thirteenth.
Allison would find that success didn’t come quite as quickly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, requiring three tries to earn his first win at NASCAR’s Most Competitive Track in the 1987 Winston 500 (now Aaron’s 499). It was also Allison’s first win in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition. “Not a bad way to start a Winston Cup career, is it,” his father Bobby said of the win.
In all, Davey Allison won eight times at Talladega Superspeedway in only 11 years of competition (three NASCAR Sprint Cup, four ARCA and one IROC), placing him second on the all-time track wins list, behind Dale Earnhardt.
In 2009, Talladega Superspeedway proudly celebrates forty years of the most competitive racing in NASCAR. While the track has seen changes made to the cars that circle its high-banks, the surface that they race on and the grandstands that thousands of fans fill twice a year, one constant remains; Talladega Superspeedway is authentic NASCAR racing at its finest.
Race fans should make plans now to experience part of Talladega’s history in 2009 during the triple-header, Aaron’s Dream Weekend, April 24-26, featuring the ARCA RE/MAX Series, the NASCAR Nationwide Series and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. For tickets, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.