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Monday marks 20 years since Alan Kulwicki’s passing

Apr 1, 2013, 2:00 PM EST

Monday, April 1 marks 20 years since the passing of 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki of Greenfield, Wis. Kulwicki and five others were killed in a plane crash near Bristol Motor Speedway that day in 1993.

Until Tony Stewart won the 2011 Sprint Cup, Kulwicki had been the most recent owner/driver to capture the series championship.

Nicknamed “Special K” and the “Polish Prince,” Kulwicki won only five Cup races, but is known as the pioneer of the “Polish victory lap” – a reverse lap around the top of the track after winning, to salute the fans.

The championship came after a thrilling bout against Bill Elliott, who had won five races and earlier in the year held a 278-point lead.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel racing beat reporter Dave Kallmann offers a reflection here.

This Friday, April 5, the Milwaukee County Historical Society will open the Alan Kulwicki: A Champion’s Story exhibit, on display until December 31. More information can be found at www.kulwickiexperience.com and/or www.milwaukeehistory.net.

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