The Allison Brothers Survive

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This is a timeline based on what we think would have happened had Davey and Clifford Allison survived.

POD

On July 12, 1993, Allison boarded his newly acquired Hughes 369HS helicopter to fly to Talladega Superspeedway to watch family friend Neil Bonnett and his son David test a car for David's Busch Series debut. He picked up another family friend, racer Red Farmer, en route to the track. Allison was attempting to land the helicopter inside a fenced-in area of the track infield when the craft nosed up suddenly, then crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the crash on Allison's inexperience in helicopters, coupled with the decision to attempt a landing. Neil Bonnett freed the semi-conscious Allison from the wreckage, but Farmer was unresponsive and could not be freed until paramedics arrived. Allison went on to a lengthy but successful recovery, spanning the rest of the NASCAR season, but Farmer never regained consciousness after sustaining a critical head injury. He was pronounced dead at 7:00 a.m. the next morning by a neurosurgeon at Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham after a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain proved unsuccessful. During the remaining 1993 season, Ernie Irvan would substitute for Davey in the #28 car, winning 3 races throughout the remaining season and finishing the #28 8th in points.

1994

Allison returned, once again cheating death. For 1994 another Allison would be making his debut; Davey's brother, Clifford, was to drive part time for Robert Yates in the #88, as a teammate to his brother. The Alabama Brothers as they were deemed, had their first race together at Daytona, with Davey qualifying 3rd, as well as Clifford making his debut starting 13th. Throughout the race Davey couldn't be stopped; he raced inside of Elliott for 6 laps before finally clearing him on the high side and he passed a very determined Earnhardt with 8 to go. With 4 to go Dale Jarrett made a charge, but Davey blocked him and held him off for those final laps. Davey won the 1994 Daytona 500, and his brother Clifford finished 8th. Davey also won and additional 9 races throughout the season en-route to a 4th place finish in points.

1995

Clifford and Davey both drove for Robert Yates, with Clifford now driving full-time. Davey started the season finishing 5th in the Daytona 500, right behind Clifford who finished 4th. The two worked together throughout the race. At Talladega Davey had victory in sight but a tire cut down with 3 to go, causing him to finish 11th. At Martinsville, Clifford got his first win of his Winston Cup career, with Davey finishing 6th and joining his brother to celebrate in victory lane. Davey won 6 races and Clifford won 8 races in his first full-time season. Overall, 1995 ended with Clifford 5th in points and Davey in 9th. Also, Dale Jarrett was to drive for Yates in 1995, but the deal fell through, and so Dale signed a lifetime deal with Joe Gibbs Racing to stay in the #18 car.

1996 - Davey's Retirement

With old injuries bringing new pain to Davey Allison, he finally couldn't bear doing 500 mile races for an entire NASCAR season. Davey needed relief from backup drivers 19 times throughout the season, including Jay Sauter, Dick Trickle, and Rich Bickle, and only won 2 races; one at Pocono and one at Richmond. Davey announced he could simply no longer take the pain of driving, and would have to retire at the end of the 1996 season. Fans of Davey held a huge celebration of his relatively short, yet successful career. Davey Allison posted 2 wins and came in 18th in points standings. Clifford got 7 wins that season and came 8th in points.

The Clifford Allison Era (1997-2004)

1997

With Davey retired, Clifford took over driving the #28 car, with the #88 car ceasing operations. Clifford had one of his greatest seasons, winning his first Winston Cup championship after getting 13 wins in one season.

1998

Clifford had ten wins in 1998, and beat out Jeff Gordon for his second consecutive championship. He finished second to Dale Earnhardt in the 1998 Daytona 500. Also, Kenny Irwin, Jr. moved to the Cup Series to drive the #27 car.

1999

Clifford had 12 wins for 1999, including the Daytona 500, and won a third championship, edging out Dale Jarrett..

2000

Clifford won seven races and won his fourth consecutive championship.

2001

Clifford began a low in his career, even though the season started out well for him. Clifford qualified 5th for the Daytona 500, and ran near the front the entire day. On the last lap, Clifford was stuck behind Dale Earnhardt and was trying to get around him, when, coming out of turn 4, tragedy struck; Clifford went to the inside of Earnhardt, just before the latter came down and cut across the right-front of Clifford's #28 car, turning the #3 car down towards the infield from the left-rear contact. Earnhardt spun up the track when he tried to correct the car, and struck the wall at the exact same time he got hit on the right side by Ken Shrader. Clifford would go on to finish 4th, but after the death of Earnhardt was announced he cried non-stop for hours post-race, even claiming responsibility for the wreck despite the fact he couldn't have prevented it. This seemed to have major consequences on Clifford's attitude towards driving, and he finished the 2001 season with only 3 wins and came in 17th in points.

2002

Clifford did not have any wins in 2002, and even had his brother Davey try driving as a substitute driver in his old ride again. Davey got one win in 2002 in place of Clifford, and that meant the retired Allison had more wins that year then the current driver did. Clifford's best finish was 3rd at Bristol. Clifford, with his brother's one win, finished 28th in points.

2003

Clifford announced 2003 would be his last full-time season, as he didn't want to drive anymore. He had 2 wins, one at Texas and one at Phoenix and finished 22nd in points.

2004

2004 saw more of Davey Allison's success than Clifford's, as Clifford only drove for 6 of the entire season's events. Davey won 3 races in place of his brother, while Clifford still went winless. Due to Davey's 3 wins, Clifford technically finished 7th in points standings. Clifford called retirement at Homestead, as the season ended.

Allison Racing

With Clifford retired after 2004 the Allisons needed a new revenue stream, so they bought the team Davey and Clifford had previously driven for; Robert Yates Racing. Once they bought the team the Allisons switched to Chevrolet and hired past champions and new rookies for Allison Racing, including Ricky Rudd and Dale Jarrett, who had driven for Robert Yates for many years, Elliott Sadler, who was considered an up-and-coming star of the sport, and Kyle Busch, who came over from the Nationwide Series. Paul Menard was hired to drive the revived #88 car, while Jeff Burton was also hired at the beginning of the 2008 season as a replacement to Rudd after Rudd retired. After Jeff Burton retired in 2013, Allison Racing hired Ty Dillon as his replacement. As of 2017 Davey owns 40% of Allison Racing, Clifford owns 35% along with their father Bobby who owns 20% and uncle Donnie who owns the remaining 5%. Their current lineup is the #08 of Elliott Sadler, the #28 of Ty Dillon, the #38 of Kyle Busch, the #88 of Paul Menard, and the #98 of Josh Wise.

The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt

Clifford was one of those interviewed in The Day: Remembering Dale Earnhardt. He said it was "the worst event of my life." and stated that he "never meant to wreck Earnhardt, he just came down infront of me and there was no time to react." He cried throughout the documentary, and at one point they stopped filming and had to wait for him to calm down before making a new segment.