Wisconsin native and 1992 NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki will be posthumously inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday night.
From his Hall of Fame profile : Kulwicki moved to Charlotte in 1984 with nothing but a pickup truck, a self-built race car and the hopes of competing in NASCAR’s highest series. He had no sponsor and a limited budget. Kulwicki burst onto the scene as the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year with his self-owned AK Racing team. Throughout his career, Kulwicki received lucrative offers from powerhouse race teams, but insisted on racing for himself. That determination eventually led to his first of five career victories at Phoenix in 1988. His signature season was his championship-winning 1992 campaign, where Kulwicki overcame a 278-point deficit with six races remaining to capture the NASCAR premier series title. Kulwicki never got the chance to defend his title, dying in a plane crash in 1993.
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NASCAR.com's feature on Kulwick i noted his credentials:
His renowned work ethic, his much-celebrated independent nuance and the fantastic story of one of the greatest championship runs in the sport makes him an enduring and important part in NASCAR history. All of that will be celebrated on Feb. 1 when Kulwicki is formally inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame alongside team owners Roger Penske and Jack Roush, the late Davey Allison and four-time Cup champion, Jeff Gordon.
Kulwicki, a hard-nosed late model racer from Wisconsin, was a man who bridged eras and expectations. As with many competitors who preceded him, Kulwicki worked on his own cars, pulling into the garage after driving laps on track and then jumping out of the drivers seat and going under the hood.
He also realized the growing importance of succeeding on the buttoned-up corporate side of things, how to attract sponsorship and just as crucially, how to optimize and retain it.
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