NARRATOR: It’s been 25 years since we lost Alan Kulwicki April 1, 1993. It was just five months after the Polish prince shocked the world with one of racing’s greatest upsets.
RACE ANNOUNCER: There’s the checkered flag for Alan. He’s the champion for ’92.
RACE ANNOUNCER: There he is.
RACE ANNOUNCER: And these are his words, a Polish victory lap.
NARRATOR: But the evening before he was to take to the track and Bristol Motor Speedway, his plane fell from the sky. And we lost him.
But what has not lost, his mark on his sport. Kulwicki was one of the first outsiders to find success in NASCAR. He was tireless in his race preparation, an uncanny ability to control speed. An ambitious underdog who owned his own team. And he was known for taming the untamable.
RACE ANNOUNCER: Kulwicki winning Phoenix International Raceway.
RACE ANNOUNCER: Kulwicki five Winston Cup races, 24 pole positions.
– I just wanted them to give them something to remember me by.
NARRATOR: Just a few days before he had to defend his race win from a year earlier, Kulwicki’s team withdrew from the race. As the team prepared to exit Thunder Valley, a NASCAR family gathered along the wall of the track. The number 7 hauler made one more lap in honor of its fallen driver. And that is where the driver began the longest four-hour journey of his life. And how do I know that? I’m Peter Jellen. I was behind the wheel. I made that drive in honor of Alan. Because, as sad as we all were, and as hard as that drive was, Alan Kulwicki deserved one last lap.