It's hard to believe that Thursday marks what would have been the 55th birthday of the late Davey Allison -- an immensely talented, super-popular and widely respected young driver who died on July 13, 1993, from injuries suffered in a helicopter crash the previous day at Talladega Superspeedway.
Allison -- a native of Hueytown, Alabama, and the son of 1983 Sprint Cup champion Bobby Allison -- raced in NASCAR's top series from 1987 through his death in the summer of '93. Driving Robert Yates Racing's No. 28 Texaco-Halvoline-sponsored Ford, Allison earned 19 Cup wins over 191 starts, along with Rookie of the Year honors in 1987.
His biggest victory came in the 1992 Daytona 500, and his final triumph came in the March 1993 race at Richmond International Speedway.
Allison was involved in the memorable nailbiting championship battle with Alan Kulwicki and Bill Elliott in 1992, ultimately finishing third in points after being caught up in a wreck in the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Earlier that same year, Allison's No. 28 car went airborne and flipped 11 times at Pocono. Also, the young driver was knocked unconscious in the all-star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he beat Kyle Petty for the win but slammed the wall after contact with Petty's car as the two crossed the finish line.
Even earlier that same year, Allison fractured ribs, bruised a lung, and tore shoulder muscles and ligaments in a wreck at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Allison's most memorable race was arguably one that he didn't win -- the 1988 Daytona 500, where he finished a close second to father Bobby. The two later celebrated together in Victory Lane.
On this day that would have been Allison's 55th birthday, we reflect on the life of a promising young driver whose career was tragically cut short way too early.