Tribute to Alan Kulwicki on April 1,
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Alan Kulwicki is one of those "Made for TV"
stories when it comes to NASCAR Winston Cup. He
came to the scene with very little except
determination and an incredible ability to drive a
racecar. Alan did it his way and soon became a
formidable force on the Cup circuit as one of the
few successful owner/drivers the sport has seen in
the modern era.
AK reached the pinnacle of the sport by
winning the Winston Cup Championship in 1992. That
year's final race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was
perhaps one of the greatest races ever held in
NASCAR history. The "King" Richard Petty was in
his final race, Jeff Gordon was making his Cup
debut, and three drivers were in a close points
race on the final day of the season. Davey
Allison, Bill Elliot, and Alan Kulwicki all
entered the day with a chance to capture the
title. Davey was involved in a crash on the front
stretch that ended his title hopes but Kulwicki
and Elliot dueled all day long. In the end Bill
won the race but Alan in his famous Ford Underbird
won the points title by leading the most laps and
won the closest points races in history.
Unfortunately like all "Made for TV" movies
tragedy struck in Alan's life ten years ago when
he was killed in a plane crash on his way to
Bristol from a personal appearance in Knoxville.
On the day of the race his team hauler made a solo
lap around the high banks of Bristol as a tribute
to our fallen hero. Since then the "Polish Victory
Lap," that Alan Kulwicki made famous, has been
used by others to honor their fallen friend. A lot
has changed in these ten years but Alan Kulwicki's
legacy lives on in the determination shown by so
many of our Winston Cup heroes today. AK is also
an inspiration to me too; whenever I feel I can’t
get something done I look at the incredible odds
When I started trying to find the right way
to honor Alan Kulwicki I found a lot of fellow AK
fans also searching for a way to do it right.
Dennis Mielcarek has
been lighting a candle in AK’s honor every year at
his gravesite. This year Dennis will have company!
Please join us at the Hooter’s Restaurant in
Greenfield Wisconsin (7700 West Layton Ave) from
on April 1,
2003 as we get together, share some memories with
fellow AK fans, and then head over to the cemetery
to pay our respects with a candle light vigil.
Many thanks to Sarah Krajnak, Manager Erik Alm,
and the staff at the Greenfield Hooters for
setting up this get together. Let’s make this a
fitting tribute to the man that showed us that you
should never give up on your dreams! Nowadays we
need that reminder more than ever and it CAN live
on in AK’s memory.
Candle Light Vigil for Alan
When: 6pm on
Meeting at the Greenfield Hooters, 7700 West
Layton Ave in Greenfield,
will have tribute videotapes to share along with
stories and memories about Alan Kulwicki. A
caravan will follow at 8PM to the gravesite at St.
Adelbert’s Cemetery for a candle light vigil.
and former competitors may also send their
comments to be read at the celebration of Alan’s
life and his accomplishments.
Contributions will be accepted by the
Greenfield Lion’s Club for improvements to the
park named in Alan Kulwicki’s
For more information contact Dennis
Michelsen of http://www.frontstretch.com/
Frontstretch Enterprises, LLC
Dennis has followed NASCAR since the days
when you were lucky to get a snippet of a race on
ABC’s Wide World of Sports. His all time favorite
drivers in the old days were Buddy Baker, Donnie
Allison, and the “Silver Fox” David Pearson. A
certifiable racing junky, he can be found on many
summer evenings at Rockford Speedway.
Dennis is a fan of the sport more than any
particular driver. But a race season is not
complete unless Mark Martin, the Labontes, Dale
Earnhardt JR, Kevin Harvick, and Tony Stewart find
their way to Victory Lane!
can find his coverage every week on Tuesdays (Odds
and Ends) and Thursdays (Fantasy Insight) with
occasional feature stories tossed in from time to
time. you can E-mail Dennis at email@example.com