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First NHMS Cup race was Davey Allison's last
McReynolds remembers driver on anniversary of his passing RELATED: High 5: Remembering Davey Allison As New Hampshire Motor Speedway celebrates its 25th anniversary, FOX NASCAR analyst Larry McReynolds, a guest on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, remembered another Magic Mile milestone: the first premier series race at the track, which was the last event for Davey Allison before a helicopter accident claimed his life. After falling 63 points shy of the 1992 NASCAR championship, Allison's No. 28 Robert Yates Racing Ford got off to a slow start, according to McReynolds, who served as its crew chief. "I think we kind of got lazy between the '92 and the '93 season because we ran so well in 1992," McReynolds said. "We didn't work to make ourselves better, and we were struggling when '93 started." The Slick 50 300 at a new New England venue offered an opportunity for the team to turn the corner, and it gave the team reason to be optimistic for the inaugural premier series race. "We finally built a brand new car and went to Loudon, and we were leading that race with 30 laps to go and we had a car that was good on the long run," McReynolds said. "A caution comes out for debris with 30 laps to go. We were in a bit of a box. We had to pit so we pitted, and we ended up finishing third to Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin ." It was the team's first top-five finish in a month and sixth in the first 16 races of the season. An upbeat Allison did something on the way home that surprised his crew chief and fellow Alabama native as the No. 28 team headed to Charlotte and then on to Allison's home in Hueytown, Alabama. " Davey did something that night that I had never seen him do," McReynolds said. "He always flew his own plane. I think it's how he kind of took out his anxiety of the day, but he told his pilot and his dad, Bobby, 'You guys fly the airplane. I'm going to sit in the back with the guys.' "…we sat back there and he was so excited and happy because I think like he felt like we finally had hit on something that we had been missing most of 1993. He told me when we landed in Charlotte, 'You won't be able to get in touch with me tomorrow. I think I'm going to fly up to Talladega to watch David Bonnett, Neil Bonnett's son, test a car.' "I said, 'No problem. I'll call you on Tuesday.' "Well, unfortunately, I never got to make that call because the next day was when he was killed in a helicopter crash at Talladega." Later that season, Ernie Irvan took over the No. 28 ride, driving the car through the first 20 races of the 1994 season before a crash at Michigan International Speedway sidelined him for for more than a year. When Irvan returned to the No. 28 car in 1996, McReynolds was his crew chief, and that July, Irvan and McReynolds went to Victory Lane at Loudon, New Hampshire, for an emotional celebration in honor of the driver's comeback and to commemorate the three-year anniversary of Allison's passing. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
'Chasing Davey' premieres September 23rd
Watch a promo for 'Chasing Davey' , premiering September 23rd on FOX Sports 1.
Throwback Thursday: Allison's last win
In the 1993 Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway, driver Davey Allison earned his 19th and final career win before his sudden death.
Day 7: Donnie Allison talks Alabama Gang rebirth
Justin Allison , 21, 'has the most talent of any Allison'
#TBT: Davey Allison's dramatic 1992 All-Star Race win
Winning driver ended up in the hospital, not Victory Lane
Robert Yates diagnosed with liver cancer
RELATED: More about Yates, Hall of Fame nominee NASCAR Hall of Fame nominee Robert Yates is undergoing treatment for liver cancer. His son Doug Yates, CEO and president of Roush Yates Engines, provided an update on his father's health in a Monday post from his Twitter account. My dad @robertyates28 was diagnosed w liver cancer, treatment starts today. Thank you for the thoughts and prayers! — Doug Yates (@Yates_Doug) October 31, 2016 Robert Yates, 73, made his mark as a champion engine builder and successful team owner in NASCAR's premier series. His Robert Yates Racing organization won the Winston Cup championship in 1999 with Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, and added three Daytona 500 victories -- two for Jarrett and one with Davey Allison . Yates-built engines also powered Cale Yarborough, Bobby Allison , Darrell Waltrip and a host of other drivers to multiple race wins. Yates' legacy continues with Roush Yates Engines powering Ford entries across several NASCAR series. Yates' name has been on the list of NASCAR Hall of Fame nominees the last three years. In 2000, he was the recipient of the Bill France Award of Excellence.
Kyle Busch wins NMPA Driver of the Year Award
DARLINGTON, S.C. -- Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch , who rallied from injuries sustained in a season-opening crash to capture the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, has been named the 2015 recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Richard Petty Driver of the Year Award. Busch, 30, suffered a broken right leg and left foot in a crash during the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Daytona International Speedway last February. After missing the season’s first 11 points races, the driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Toyota returned with a vengeance. He won four of five races, including three straight, during the summer to qualify for NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup . In the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway , Busch beat 2014 series champion Kevin Harvick to win the race and earn his first Sprint Cup championship. In addition to Homestead, Busch also scored wins at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway, Kentucky Speedway , New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Motor Speedway . It was his first Brickyard 400 title and the fourth for Joe Gibbs Racing . He finished the season with 12 top-five and 16 top-10 results. "I just want to thank the National Motorsports Press Association for voting me as the Richard Petty Driver of the Year," said Busch. "Last year was the most challenging, yet rewarding year of my career. While this honor has my name on it, I don't think it would have possible without the hard work and dedication from everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing , Toyota and TRD. "On the personal side, I can't thank the doctors and everyone at OrthoCarolina enough for helping me get back into racing shape, but also my wife Samantha and my entire family for all they did to get me back on my feet. Just looking at the list of past winners, it’s a tremendous honor to have my name mentioned along with many other great champions of our sport." In addition to his Sprint Cup success, Busch, a team owner in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series, also scored six wins in the XFINITY Series and two in the Truck Series. Others receiving votes were Jeff Gordon ( Hendrick Motorsports ), Joey Logano ( Team Penske ), Harvick ( Stewart-Haas Racing ) and Martin Truex Jr . ( Furniture Row Racing ). Busch was presented the award Jan. 17 during the NMPA's annual convention in Concord, N.C. The Richard Petty Driver of the Year Award has been presented each year since 1969 and is determined by a vote of the NMPA membership. It is named in honor of Petty, a seven-time champion and the all-time win leader in NASCAR with 200 career premier series victories. Richard Petty Driver of the Year Recipients 2015, Kyle Busch ; 2014, Kevin Harvick ; 2013, Jimmie Johnson ; 2012, Brad Keselowski ; 2011, Tony Stewart ; 2010, Jimmie Johnson ; 2009, Jimmie Johnson ; 2008, Carl Edwards ; 2007, Jimmie Johnson ; 2006, Jimmie Johnson ; 2005, Tony Stewart ; 2004, Jimmie Johnson ; 2003, Ryan Newman ; 2002, Tony Stewart ; 2001, Kevin Harvick ; 2000, Bobby Labonte ; 1999, Dale Jarrett; 1998, Jeff Gordon ; 1997, Dale Jarrett; 1996, Terry Labonte ; 1995, Jeff Gordon ; 1994, Dale Earnhardt; 1993, Rusty Wallace; 1992, Davey Allison ; 1991, Harry Gant; 1990, Dale Earnhardt; 1989, Mark Martin ; 1988, Rusty Wallace; 1987, Dale Earnhardt; 1986, Tim Richmond and Dale Earnhardt; 1985, Bill Elliott ; 1984, Terry Labonte ; 1983, Bobby Allison ; 1982, Darrell Waltrip; 1981, Darrell Waltrip; 1980, Dale Earnhardt; 1979, Cale Yarborough; 1978, Cale Yarborough; 1977, Cale Yarborough; 1976, Darrell Waltrip; 1975, Richard Petty; 1974, Richard Petty; 1973, David Pearson; 1972, Bobby Allison ; 1971, Bobby Allison ; 1970, Bobby Isaac; 1969, LeeRoy Yarbrough.
Member of the Month: December
Name: Allison Current City: Salyersville, Kentucky Member since: 2012 Getting to know Allison Q. Why did you join the Official NASCAR Fan Council? "I wanted to have a voice in the sport I love." Q. How did you first become interested in NASCAR? "I was 11 years old and flipping through the channels and I saw this car race on. I stopped flipping the channels and decided to watch because it caught my attention and looked cool. I watched the race until the end and have been hooked on NASCAR ever since. I have always loved cars and racing and things that go fast and wanted to see what this sport was all about." Q. What makes NASCAR special for you? "It is an amazing sport, first of all. NASCAR and the racing community as a whole is a family. We're just one big family and I feel like I am part of that family. When I go to a race I always meet the most amazing people who are just like me. They love this sport and are hardworking people. It is our passion and enjoyment. The fans are the most amazing people you will ever meet. NASCAR is such a fan-friendly sport, more than any other sport out there and that's so amazing. NASCAR does so much for their fans, the military and the community and you won't find that with any other sport." Q: Do you have any favorite NASCAR memories or traditions? "I always go to the Bristol Night Race, It's a tradition and it’s an awesome race. I won a VIP trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway last fall on my birthday thanks to DraftKings. I always play DraftKings on race day. I got a hot pass which let me go to the driver's meeting, I got a pace car ride, I got to watch the race from the pits and I was there by the stairs for driver intros and got to meet a lot of drivers including my driver and role model, Jeff Gordon , who autographed my hat. That meant a lot to me. I had an amazing time and I will never ever forget that." Q: Do you have a favorite in any of the following categories? Driver: " Jeff Gordon ." Tracks: " Pocono Raceway ." Memorabilia: "My autographed Jeff Gordon hat." Q: If you could go to any NASCAR race/track, where would you go? "Watkins Glen and Martinsville." Q: What do you like to do in your free time? "Watch NASCAR, hang out with good friends and ride trails around home on ATVs." Q: Tell us about your family. Do you have children and/or pets? "I'm married to a man named William. I have one daughter who will be 16 in August named Alexandria. I have two rotten dachshunds named Weenie and Libby. I have two coonhounds named Willie and Morris, an Australian shepherd named Molly and a mix named Mickey. I work as a Veterinarian Technician so I have a lot of fur babies, some that are rescues." Q: What's your dream car? "A Z06 Corvette" From all of us at NASCAR, we thank Allison for her continued support and look forward to hearing from her in 2016.
1987 Winston: Where Are They Now?
RELATED: Elliott will 'never forget' Earnhardt move The starting grid for the 1987 Winston All-Star Race looked a lot like an exhibit befitting the NASCAR Hall of Fame. This was The All-Star Race for the ages. Hall of Famers Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Bobby Allison , Darrell Waltrip, Cale Yarborough, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Bill Elliott all competed. Greats such as Neil Bonnett, Harry Gant, Ricky Rudd, Buddy Baker, and Benny Parsons were on the 20-driver starting grid, too. A young Davey Allison and a new Daytona 500 winner Geoffrey Bodine lined up alongside these iconic names. The fast and famed Tim Richmond was on the grid, too, in what was his final season of NASCAR competition. And don't forget about Kyle Petty, Bobby Hillin Jr. and Greg Sacks. The only driver on that famed All-Star lineup still NASCAR racing today is Morgan Shepherd, who drove a car fielded by drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein -- and his seventh-place finish that day in his first All-Star Race remains his best showing. That starting lineup was a true convergence of NASCAR's best -- sentimental favorites, crusty veterans, future Hall of Famers and young stars out to make their big names. It had personality. It had top-line credentials. In only its third running, the 1987 race showed exactly the pizzazz that would help forge the All-Star Race into the can't-miss annual event that will be on full display Saturday in the Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway . For all its historical allure, amazingly in that famed 1987 race only four drivers even led a lap -- the winner Earnhardt (10), the day's dominant driver Elliott (121), Bodine (3) and Kyle Petty (1). The great seven-time Cup champ Richard Petty crashed with the late superstar Neil Bonnett on Lap 66. As dominant and successful as Petty was, it's easy to forget he never won an All-Star Race. Among the most memorable aspects of this race will undoubtedly be the day's winner Earnhardt's "Pass in the Grass" of Elliott. It wasn't actually a pass at all, but Earnhardt maneuvering to hold onto his late race lead over Elliott in the day's most dominant car. It was the first of three All-Star wins for Earnhardt. And the gritty, hard-nosed final laps racing launched this -- then still young -- event into a bona fide can't-miss rite of spring. The above photo itself has become quite a piece of NASCAR lore. When this group of 20 drivers came together for this indelible image, these are the numbers they would leave behind: 812 premier series victories, 26 premier series championships, 11 All-Star Race wins ... and one urban legend.
Yates already at work on Stewart-Haas' move to Ford
RELATED: Key moments in SHR's history HAMPTON, Ga. -- The addition of Stewart-Haas Racing to Ford in 2017 will mean an increased workload for Roush Yates Engines, the company that supplies Ford power to teams in all three of NASCAR's national series. But it means much more than the 60 or so additional engines the supplier will have to produce, according to CEO Doug Yates. "For us, that's four more top-notch cars, opportunities to win races and championships," Yates said Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway . "But the work starts now because we've got to get ready for next year." SHR, which currently runs under the Chevrolet banner, fields four full-time Sprint Cup entries, with drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch and Danica Patrick . Clint Bowyer will take over Tony Stewart 's No. 14 car in 2017. RELATED: Stewart makes surprise appearance at Atlanta Yates, son of famed engine builder and former team owner Robert Yates, said his company currently has approximately 250 engines in its fleet for Sprint Cup teams. "We'll start building them up but next year, with four cars will mean about 60 more engines. … Today we build about 750 Cup, XFINITY and Truck engines a year. At our road race shop we build about 250 a year. Obviously we will have to add some people. We feel like we have a good process, we just have to add volume." The benefit, he said, is it will be "a good opportunity to allow us to bring on more resources for the R&D side, more testing, more engineers. Just add depth to every department. It's exciting. "When we brought on (Team) Penske several years ago, we were not as prepared as we wanted to be … there were a lot of long nights, a lot of stress. So we're going to try to be ahead of that." Team Penske made the move from Dodge to Ford after the 2012 season. Dodge left NASCAR on a high note; Penske driver Brad Keselowski had just won the Sprint Cup title. The following year, Keselowski finished 14th and teammate Joey Logano eighth in points. "We've never been afraid to build a lot of engines," Yates said. "My dad and I have been in the engine business our entire lives. That part's really not a concern. But we're here to win races and championships, and there's a lot of responsibility and pressure that goes along with that. "Roush Yates has been in business for 12 seasons now, this is our 13th. Between Cup, XFINITY , Truck and road races, we've won over 250 races. With Penske in three years we've won 48 races and 20 Cup races. But the last Cup championship we won was in 2004. So that's really the emphasis on us is to go win championships and we feel like with teams like Penske and Stewart-Haas and Roush Fenway and Petty ( Richard Petty Motorsports ), we have a really good opportunity to do that." Yates has built winning engines for decades, following in his father's footsteps. His can recall his first race-winning engine as if it had been built just last week. "It was a huge moment," he said. "It was the fall Charlotte race … with Davey Allison . That was the first one I built all the way through. That was just such an incredible feeling of accomplishment. It was like 'This is just incredible.' That was really special to me."