The No. 7 Zerex Ford

Kulwicki's new No. 7 Zerex Ford in 1987.

For 1987, Kulwicki got a new sponsor and new car number.  Rusty Wallace, Kulwicki’s friend and competitor from NASCAR and ASA, arranged for Zerex antifreeze to become AK Racing’s primary sponsor. Kulwicki also switched his car number to 7, thinking that he would be more recognizable and marketable with a single-digit number.  He remains most associated with the number 7 to this day.

The 1987 season was also the first time Kulwicki ran every Winston Cup race.  In 29 starts, he earned three top fives and nine top 10s.  His best finish was a second-place result at Pocono International Raceway, a two and a half mile triangular-shaped track in the Pennsylvania mountains.  Kulwicki engaged in a duel for the win with Dale Earnhardt that went all the way to the final lap.

Kulwicki also started to build a reputation as a strong qualifier.  He won the first three pole positions of his career in 1987, two at Richmond Fairgrounds and one at Dover Downs International Speedway in Delaware.  From 1987-1992, Kulwicki won 24 pole positions, more than any other Winston Cup driver.

Alan Kulwicki Zerex Race Club certificate

After picking up a new sponsor and new car number, Kulwicki issued new fan club certificates.

Kulwicki gets ready to climb into the Zerex Ford. 

Kulwicki poses next to the red and white version of his No. 7 Zerex Ford, which he raced in 1987 and 1988.

Kulwicki racing the No. 7 Zerex Ford at North Carolina Motor Speedway in 1987.

Kulwicki (7) races with Dale Earnhardt (3) during the First Union 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway.  Earnhardt went on to win the race, while Kulwicki scored the second top five finish of his Winston Cup career.

Alan Kulwicki discusses his preparations for qualifying

Kulwicki explains how his team prepares for qualifying on a typical race weekend.

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