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Allison Remembered by Fans, Auto Racing’s Elite at Funeral

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<i> Associated Press</i>

NASCAR star Davey Allison was eulogized as “the luckiest man in the world” Thursday as relatives, friends and fans said goodby in a massive outpouring of love and grief.

Inside St. Aloysius Catholic Church, some 750 heard the 32-year-old driver remembered as a good son, husband and father.

Outside the brick church, hundreds more stood in the hot Alabama sun to listen to the funeral mass on loudspeakers.

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Mourners included the elite of racing--owners such as Roger Penske and drivers such as Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin--and Allison admirers and hometown friends from nearby Hueytown.

The Rev. Louis Giardino said that even in elementary school, teachers noted that Allison spent all his time thinking about racing. His father is NASCAR legend Bobby Allison.

“He knew what he wanted to be in life from the very earliest time,” Giardino said. “I believe Davey Allison was the luckiest man in the world. Davey lived in a fraternity: family, his racing team and his fans . . . many of whom he had never met.”

Afterward, cars stretched for miles behind a white hearse as it moved slowly toward Highland Memorial Gardens. The route was lined with thousands of people, some crying, others holding signs.

Allison’s father and mother, Judy, wept. They buried their other son, Clifford, in the same cemetery 11 months ago after he died in a racing crash.

Allison died Tuesday of injuries suffered Monday when the helicopter he was piloting attempted to land on an infield parking lot at Talladega Superspeedway.

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