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The shop where Alan Kulwicki practically lived has not housed a Winston Cup team for several years. Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI
The shop where Alan Kulwicki practically lived has not housed a Winston Cup team for several years. Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI

Shop remains a reminder of Kulwicki Racing

By Ryan Smithson, Turner Sports Interactive April 1, 2003
11:08 AM EST (1608 GMT)

CONCORD, N.C. ? It's pretty hard to stop thinking about something tragic when constant reminders are everywhere.

An entire decade, it seems, has not given Paul Andrews much reprieve from thinking of Alan Kulwicki -- or the shop where a dozen or so guys practically lived.

  The Lowe's Motor Speedway backstretch is visible from the shop. Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI
The Lowe's Motor Speedway backstretch is visible from the shop. Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI

Andrews, Kuwicki's crew chief from 1988 until Kuwicki's death in 1993, still lives near the old Alan Kulwicki Racing shop.

He still lives in the same house he did then, even as he went to work at DEI as Steve Park's crew chief, 20 miles away in Mooresville.

Now, he works at Roush Racing in Concord as Jeff Burton's crew chief -- a short drive away from Kulwicki's old shop.

When Andrews worked at Alan Kulwicki Racing, his kids were in elementary school. Now, he is getting ready to send one to college.

He drives by the building nearly every day, and he sees his old co-workers every weekend. Sometimes he even sees Kulwicki's family.

  Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI
Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI

"Whenever I see him (Gerald, Alan's father) at the racetrack, I say hi," Andrews said. "We get together during the winter. They still have (Alan's) house."

Kulwicki's old race shop, located right behind the mammoth backstretch at Lowe's Motor Speedway, sits nearly empty.

The shop went through several owners after Kulwicki's death in the crash of a private airplane. Geoff Bodine Racing inhabited it until Bodine sold his team to Jim Mattei.

Mattei Motorsports became Ultra Motorsports in 2000, owner Jim Smith moved the operation and the building has been nearly empty since then.

 A man of character
 Certain stories provide insight to what kind of person Alan Kulwicki was.
 

Only Gary Preziozi -- a former Alan Kulwicki Racing engine builder -- remains in the old building. He runs GP Racing Engines out of the old shop, selling engines to various Busch Series and Truck Series teams.

He's all alone in the shop -- he runs his engine dynos during the day, and the only person who can hear it is himself.

To Preziozi, the shop is home away from home. He worked in the shop from 1991 to 1996. It was Kulwicki who gave Preziozi his break into Winston Cup.

  Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI
Credit: Sean Jackson, TSI

But even Preziozi is soon to leave -- he's about to move his engine shop to another location.

"I'll miss this place," Preziozi said. "The place is empty. I am the only one in it."

Even so, Kulwicki's presence -- 10 years later -- remains.

"(Alan's old office) is still there," Preziozi said. "It's kind of weird. We have got all of Alan's old equipment. All the engine equipment never left the shop.

"It made it through four owners."

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