In the years after WWII, Davey Brown and high school friend Johnny Mackison built jalopy stock cars and went racing. But it didn’t take Davey long to determine that Mackison was the far better driver, so he became Johnny’s mechanic. They quickly became an unbeatable pair and in 1953 won their first championship at Bowling Green Speedway.
Fast forward to 1957 and ’58 when Davey and Johnny went NASCAR racing---five starts in ’57, with a top-five finish and two top-tens including an eighth at Darlington. In ’58 they ran a Mercury in the Convertible Division. In 11 starts, the scored two top-fives and three top-tens.
Back on home turf in Central Pennsylvania, between 1959 and ’62, they totally dominated the scene, winning 41 of 63 starts one year and more than 30 in each of the other years. At the end of the ’62 season, Mackison, just 28, retired.
In 1964, it became the Brown and Tobias show, with Davey wrenching for Toby and garnering the point title at Williams Grove and posting some 36 total wins at the Grove, Selinsgrove, Susquehanna, and Port Royal. Well, actually 39 since Milford Wales in the second Emrich Chevrolet car won three times at Susky.
In 1965, Davey and Toby plied their trade with success at the Reading Fairgrounds. He also teamed up with Bobby Gerhart Sr. and spent Saturdays at Port Royal with Mitch Smith. In 1967, at Susquehanna Modifieds, "Bugs" with carburetors, and "Bugs" with injectors all raced together. Gerhart and Davey with a carburetor won seven times and the track championship.
Back at Reading, after helping Gerhart to nearly 40 feature wins and two championships, in 1973 Davey built a lightweight small-block car for Donnie Varner. But when Varner was injured, Toby replaced him and promptly won 16 times at Reading. The next year, without the small-block weight break, Toby still won eight times.
In 1975, Davey built a Mustang II Modified with a Big-Block and Tobias continued his winning way, taking 25 checkered flags and the Syracuse 200 during Super DIRT Week. In 1978, when Dick Tobias lost his life in a USAC sprint car accident at Flemington, Davey considered retiring from racing. But he found it impossible to walk away. At the end of the season, he helped Kramer Williamson win the Williams Grove National Open.
Between 1979 and the end of the ’83 season, Davey kept Lynn Paxton on the winning track, posting more than 70 victories, including several WoO wins, during their five year stretch. After winning his second straight Williams Grove National Open, Paxton retired at the end of 1983. In 1984, the combination of owner Bob Weikert, driver Doug Wolfgang, and Davey became one the of strongest sprint car teams ever assembled. Between’84 and its dissolution in ’87, they won an incredible 130 races, including the record-setting 54 in 1985.
Since then, Davey has helped any number of drivers have their best seasons---like Kenny Jacobs winning both the Sharon Nationals and the Williams Grove National Open in 1988. Or Chris Eash career best season in 1993. Or Billy Pauch at Syracuse in ’94. Or the Chesson brothers. And over the longest term Don Kreitz Jr. who says, "No one in the whole country, with the possible exception of Karl Kinser, is as sharp on chassis and engines. Davey Brown is great on both."
Just a few weeks ago, a new Sprint car team for 2016 was announced: owner Kreitz Jr., driver Lance Dewease, and mechanic Davey Brown. The saga continues…
Welcome Davey Brown to the EMPA HoF.