It may be the greatest season NASCAR has ever had. The 1992 season was one that changed the sport in many ways. Seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Richard Petty was in the midst of his fan appreciation tour, marking the end of his 35-year career. Petty made the announcement during the 1991 season and from …
The NASCAR Sprint Cup racing season is the longest of any sport outside of golf, although the guys who chase the little white balls around those fields don’t compete in all of the events.
It’s been almost 17 years now. Most devoted stock car fans know the story of the 1992 Atlanta season finale and the three-way battle royale for the title in that event that many of us label it the greatest stock car race ever. But with so many years passed by and so many new fans …
Though it was not all that long ago in the grand scheme of things, the Winston Cup circuit was very different back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Back then, almost all the star drivers were still Southern-born and bred, most of them having started their careers racing late models on one of those storied old bullrings south of the Mason-Dixon line. A driver who showed promise might hope one day to land a ride with one of the “Good ol’ boy” teams, like Junior Johnson’s, Bud Moore’s or Richard Childress’s. Certainly, if that driver ever expected to have a chance at running for the championship, it was thought he needed to land a ride with an established team. Then along came Alan Kulwicki. Not only was he born way north of the heart of Dixie in Greenfield, Wis., his plan – to start his own team and be an owner/driver – was almost unheard of in that day. But Kulwicki never did follow the beaten path. He blazed his own.
The Daytona 500 had several controversial moments, but the biggest was the race being shortened by over 100 miles due to rain. Did NASCAR do the right thing by starting at the scheduled time, or should the green flag have been moved up so that the entire race could be run?
The popular saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” applies to many things in life — especially in racing. As we’ve seen the last few years, sometimes NASCAR tends to tinker with things that don’t need to be messed with, while ignoring problems that badly need to be solved. So, on the heels of a solid race at Dover, I got to thinking of those things that are still definitely in need of attention — while recognizing that a couple of others are doing all right by themselves after all…
This list of drivers I never saw but wish I had is about as unscientific as you’re going to get. I’ve not restricted myself at all in terms of criteria, and in a couple of cases, I quote from sources that know much more than I. Where relevant, I’ve explained my reasoning, so you know I’m just not pulling these things right out of thin air. Some choices are obvious and others may surprise you; so if you think I’m missing someone, write in and tell me why.
With only one race remaining before the start of the 2007 Chase for the Nextel Cup, the race for 12th place has all been but decided, with Kevin Harvick needing to only finish 32nd or better to solidify his place in the Championship dash. While the Daytona 500 winner will start the race a whopping 670 points out of first place, he will end it no more than 50 points out of the top spot, courtesy of NASCAR’s new seeding system, awarding 10 bonus points for a win to each driver in the top 12. Which raises a legitimate question: What exactly does a 700-point deficit convey anything remotely related to the term “champion?” Is this what it has come to? “The race for 12th?”
As we head into Bristol this weekend, we are often reminded of some of the most memorable moments in NASCAR Kulwicki was born on December 14, 1954 in Greenfield, Wis. He was a pioneer in the sport, coming to NASCAR through the Midwest’s ASA series, which produced such luminaries as Rusty Wallace, Mark Martin, and Dick Trickle. Kulwicki was one of the first drivers to complete college, graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1977, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Alan used his education and experience to his advantage; always getting more out of less, and doing things smarter than the other guy. Legendary car owner Junior Johnson was once asked which driver he would have wanted to drive for him that never did. The two names that came to mind were seven-time champion Dale Earnhardt, and Kulwicki. Johnson was convinced that having a driver who was just as (if not more) mechanically adept as he or the people he had assembling the car would have made them a force to be reckoned with.
Robert Yates Racing, and the team’s talented young driver Davey Allison made their official debut at the 1989 Daytona 500. Things got off to an inauspicious start. Davey was running well when Geoff Bodine got into his rear bumper and sent the 28 car spinning.