The 1994 season had not yet officially begun, only a hand full test sessions had taken place, when the news came from Daytona that Neil Bonnett had died from injuries sustained in a practice crash for the Daytona 500.
Neil, popular driver and broadcaster, was taking the next step in his comeback effort after three years of recovery from injuries suffered in a 1990 crash at Darlington. Everyone knew how much Neil and Dale Earnhardt loved to hunt and fish, but during a press conference announcing his comeback Neil admitted racing meant much more to him. During Neil's comeback efforts he tested for RCR and was a key part in the development of the new Monte Carlo coming out in 1995. Neil found something during all this testing and he felt he had a great chance at the pole and Daytona 500 in 1994. I guess we will never know what happened to the car that fateful day, but I can tell you that it was not driver error. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the car, but all the answers in the world will not bring Neil back. There are no answers to the question why. The only comforting thought can be that unlike Alan Kulwicki and Davy Allison, Neil lost his life doing what he loved, driving a race car.
Neil's 18 career wins and 20 poles will be remembered. So will his talents behind the microphone and in front of the camera. Most of all Neil will be remembered as a man who gave 100 % to everything. Whether it be his family, hunting, fishing, or his ultimate love, racing. Neil Bonnett was a Racer!
I have so many fond memories of Neil and his family and I wanted to share some of them with you. I started to follow Neil's career when he was racing in the IROC series. Neil was one of a kind and will be missed, but his memories will live forever.
These are quotes from a Neil Bonnett fan, and the site is Here if you'd like to read all the quotes and see all the pictures. Neil was indeed a great race car driver, a great broadcaster, and an all around good guy. I miss him every day.
Thanks to Neilbonnett.com for the information and the pictures.