By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
A legendary car number, the No. 28 will be featured on track at Talladega Superspeedway as Joey Gase and Rick Ware Racing honor NASCAR Hall of Famer Davey Allison.
Gase will drive the No. 28 RegisterMe.org/28 Ford Mustang at the 2.66-mile track in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on April 24 and Cup Series on April 25. The Cedar Rapids, IA native has 244 career starts in the Xfinity Series with one top-five, at Talladega in 2015, and three top-10 finishes.
Currently, the 28-year-old has 77 starts in the NASCAR Cup Series. In seven Cup starts at Talladega, Gase has a best finish of 17th in last year’s playoff race.
The No. 28 was made famous by Allison’s exploits. In a nine-year NASCAR Cup Series career, the son of Bobby Allison earned 19 victories in 191 starts. Three of those victories came at Talladega with another two at Daytona International Speedway, including the 1992 Daytona 500.
Davey Allison’s career was tragically cut short after a helicopter crash at Talladega claimed his life. Following his tragic death, the NASCAR driver spread the gift of life after his widow, Liz Allison, allowed for his organs to be donated. Four recipients of Davey’s organs lived for a combined 46 years.
“When Davey passed, his family knew if he could no longer continue his life, he would want to do whatever he could to help others continue theirs,” explained Gase. “I want to show he was a hero both during his lifetime and after. As some know, my mom was an organ donor as well. It has become a mission of mine these last 10 years to keep her legacy alive by honoring donors and donor families and to help raise awareness for organ donation.
“There are currently over 110,000 people on the wait list nationwide for organ transplants. When I found out Davey was a donor, I thought it would be incredibly special to be able to honor him and his family at Talladega. It will be 28 years in July since Davey passed away.”
Prior to deciding to compete in the legendary No. 28, Gase reached out to Liz Allison for her blessing. He also asked for her blessing to honor Davey Allison as a Donor Hero. Gase received both blessings.
“I am very honored and proud for Davey to be remembered in this way, especially at our home track,” admitted Liz. “Davey loved racing at Talladega and always loved to hear the fans cheering for him, as the hometown favorite. Having Joey bring back the 28 and Davey’s 1993 Paint scheme will be special for so many of us.
“Davey would want the focus to be on Donor Awareness. A big part of Davey’s legacy is being a Donor Hero. We will be cheering Joey on and hoping to see that 28 and those familiar colors in Victory Lane one more time.”
The No. 28 last was utilized in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2009. Travis Kvapil started 17th and finished 18th that day. The last time that the No. 28 went to victory lane in the Cup Series was with Ricky Rudd in 2002 at Sonoma Raceway.
Feature Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Rick Ware Racing