In January 1986, stock car racer Alan Kulwicki left his native Wisconsin and moved to the Carolinas to pursue a career in NASCAR.  He managed his own team as an owner/driver and slowly built his organization into one of NASCAR’s best.  Relishing his role as an underdog, Kulwicki completed a remarkable comeback in 1992 to win the Winston Cup Series championship.  Five months later, his life ended in a plane crash.  Kulwicki’s NASCAR career was short, but he left an enormous impact on stock car racing and the motorsports industry in Charlotte.

One Racer’s Dream

This exhibit explores Kulwicki’s journey to becoming a NASCAR driver, discussing his background as a college-educated engineer, late-model racer in the Midwest, and foray into NASCAR’s Winston Cup Series.

The Making of a Champion

Kulwicki was committed to competing in NASCAR with his own team, AK Racing.  This exhibit traces Kulwicki’s quest to win races by managing a team his way, and his success in winning the 1992 championship.

Tragedy and Transformation

Kulwicki tragically died in a plane crash less than a year after winning the title.  This exhibit describes his legacy, contributions to NASCAR, and impact on motorsports engineering at UNC Charlotte.