Remembering Davey the friend first, racer second

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Larry McReynolds

Larry McReynolds has more than 30 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, Daytona 500-winning crew chief and broadcaster. He earned 23 Sprint Cup wins as a crew chief, including two victories in the prestigious Daytona 500, as well as a pair of non-points victories in the annual all-star race. Follow him on Twitter.

Matt from Long Beach, Calif.: Jeff, we lost Davey Allison 11 years ago Tuesday. It's hard to believe it's been that long. He was one of this sport's greats even though his time here was short. Larry McReynolds: It's funny because I didn't go to sleep with it on my mind, but losing Davey 11 years ago today was one of the first things I thought about before I even raised my head up off the pillow this morning. There are a handful of people who are no longer with us, and I still miss them every day. Obviously those people include my mom and my dad, but Davey Allison is certainly one of those people too. He was not only the driver that I worked with and enjoyed a lot of success with, but he was one of my best friends. The friendship between our families went far beyond a driver-crew chief relationship. People ask me all the time where Davey would be and what Davey would be doing. You hate speculating because nobody knows. Everybody asks me where Ernie Irvan would be if he hadn't gotten hurt in Michigan 10 years ago. It's just hard to say because what happened was God's will. I believe Davey would have had many wins, and I think some people who have championships now probably wouldn't have had championships. There are people who have multiple championships who probably wouldn't have multiple championships if they raced against Davey.
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We still have 18 races to go with big events like the Brickyard 400, the second California race and the season finale at Miami, but I looked through this morning's paper at Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s winnings in excess of $4 million. Knowing Davey like I knew him, the growth of our sport from a popularity and a monetary standpoint would blow his mind. FOX race analyst Larry McReynolds has more than 25 years of NASCAR experience as a mechanic, crew chief and broadcaster. He and his fellow Crew Chief Club members take you behind the wall at www.crewchiefclub.com.

"Larry McReynolds: The Big Picture" is on bookstore shelves now, or you may order your own autographed copy from www.DWStore.com.

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