Remembering Alan Kulwicki

Twenty-years ago the face of NASCAR changed forever. We lost a true pioneer in Alan Kulwicki who set his own trends and changed the pattern of our sport just months after winning his first and only championship.

ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 15: Alan Kulwicki was a hard-working independent driver who procured a national sponsor for the 1992 season for his popular NASCAR Cup championship which he received following the Atlanta race on November 15, 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia. His life came to a tragic end in a 1993 plane crash. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)
Date created: 15 Nov 1992

April 1, 1993: Kulwicki died in a plane crash when he was returning home from a sponsorship appearance. The crash occurred on final approach to the Tri-Cities Regional Airport.

His death was preceded by a history and industry changing championship run when Kulwicki was crowned the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion. Kulwicki became known for his determination when he fought Bill Elliott to the end and won the championship by ten points. It was the closest margin at the point in the history of the sport.

He made an immediate impact coming into the sport by earning the respect of the other drivers because of how he was able to work on his own car. He raced them tough, but was clean and respectful.

Kulwicki set a new trend when he came to the then Winston Cup Series as the first driver outside of the southern states to enter the sport.

He earned his first win three seasons into his career and celebrated with a “Polish victory lap.” A tradition the reigning Sprint Cup Series champion, Brad Keselowski, has brought back.

What do you remember Alan Kulwicki for?

Topics: Alan Kulwicki, NASCAR, Sprint Cup Series

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