Tuesday, April 1, 2014
This photo is of Alan Kulwicki Racing crew chief Paul Andrews, owner/driver Alan Kulwicki, and yours truly at the team‘s shop in North Carolina. 21 years ago today, Alan was killed in a plane crash flying to a race in Tennessee. Without going into a ton of detail for those who may not be familiar with the tale, Alan owned an under-funded team racing against multi-car teams with huge budgets. He believed in his own team and turned down a big paycheck offer to drive for Junior Johnson. In 1992 Alan and his team overcame staggering odds to compete for NASCAR’s championship. He embraced the underdog role and even changed the name on his cars’ front bumpers from “Thunderbird” to “Underbird.” With meticulous planning in what many consider to be NASCAR’s greatest race ever, Alan won the 1992 championship in the season’s final event by a single point. He beat out Junior Johnson driver Bill Elliott in the ride that could have been Alan’s.
I will always feel lucky that I got to know him, and his dedication and determination serve as inspiration to me to this day.