Kulwicki Cut His Teeth In USAC Stock Cars

Most people are aware of Greenfield, Wisconsin?s Alan Kulwicki, and his winning the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup Championship. However, some may forget that Alan spent parts of three seasons cutting his racing teeth in the old USAC Stock Car series.

Beginning on Milwaukee-area short tracks in 1973, Alan won his first race on a Tuesday night at Leo?s Speedway in Oshkosh, WI in August of that year in his ?69 Camaro. Gradually, he moved up the racing ladder, though, at a bit slower rate due to his commitments in earning an engineering degree. After earning track championships at Wisconsin International Raceway in Kaukauna (WI) and the Slinger Super Speedway, Alan moved to the tough American Speed Association and their light-weight late model cars in 1979. However, stints in the venerable United States Auto Club stock car division came calling.

The USAC stock car division had a mixture of full-sized cars along with the compact cars which began taking over the division in the late-1970?s. The main difference between an ASA car and their USAC counterpart was weight. The USAC came in at about 400 plus pounds heavier and had a more stock appearance. Alan made had a successful USAC debut at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, IN in Sept. of 1979 where he finished fifth (twin 75-lap heats) overall in Billy Schwister?s memorable Ford Granada.

In 1980, he teamed up with Dousman, Wisconsin?s Tom Hanley. With sponsorship from local radio station WLPX and Team Electronics Kulwicki qualified sixth for the Miller 200 at the Milwaukee Mile. However transmission problems dropped the speedy Camaro from the running order as Rusty Wallace sped to victory. In August during the Fair Stock 200 Kulwicki qualified third, pressuring leaders Wallace and Joe Ruttman early in the event, Kulwicki once again was eliminated by mechanical woes. Wallace once again drove to victory lane.

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