The 2009 inductees to the tribute to the late Davey Allison and a salute to NASCAR’s greatest names are Morgan Shepherd as the active driver and Jack Smith as the inactive driver.
Ceremonies take place at Davey Allison Memorial Park located behind the east side of Talladega’s downtown square following a Halloween celebration downtown that includes trick or treating and a group “Thriller” dance. The induction ceremony begins at 7 p.m.
The Talladega-Texaco Walk of Fame was developed in 1994 and every year since, one active driver and up to two inactive drivers are added to the list.
Pencil portraits of the newest Walk of Fame drivers are added each year to a collection of portraits of Walk of Fame drivers that is displayed at Heritage Hall Museum in Talladega during the month of the fall races at Talladega Superspeedway.
The portraits are done by artist Tommy Moorehead, artist in residence for Heritage Hall Museum.
The inductees are selected by votes from NASCAR fans.
Shepherd, 67, lives in Ferguson, N.C. and drove his first NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) in 1970 at Hickory Motor Speedway. For close to 40 years since, Shepherd has competed in one of NASCAR’s top divisions.
Shepherd is a four time winner in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series and has earned 15 wins in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in which he currently drives.
He is the 1980 NASCAR Late Model Sportsman division champion and the recipient of the 2005 NMPA Pocono Spirit Award.
Shepherd is co-owner of his Faith Motorsports Team and oversees the daily operations of the team including car preparations, engine building, testing and racing. He also serves as a lay minister in the NASCAR community.
Smith is a NASCAR pioneer and first raced in the NASCAR Sprint Cup in 1949. He continued racing for 15 years and had 21 wins and is a member of the NMPA Hall of Fame. Smith died in 2001 at age 78.
Past active driver inductees have included Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Ernie Irvan, Dale Jarrett, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Bobby Hamilton, Ricky Rudd, Mark Martin, Kyle Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth and Bobby Labonte. Richard Petty and Benny Parsons were the first inactive drivers to be inducted, later joined by Alan Kulwicki, Cale Yarborough, Ned Jarrett, Buddy Baker, David Pearson, Junior Johnson, Harry Gant, Lee Petty, Tim Flock, Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Joe Weatherly, Red Byron, Bobby Isaac, Fred Lorenzen, Fonty Flock, Herb Thomas, Terry Labonte and Rex White.
The first inductees – “ Alabama Gang” drivers Bobby Allison, Donnie Allison, Red Farmer and Neil Bonnett – were inducted by decree of the board.
Davey Allison Memorial Park features a marble statue of Allison and there are bronze plaques placed in the park for Walk of Fame inductees.
The induction ceremony is open to the public and a huge fireworks display and entertainment follow the ceremony.