Alan Kulwicki died in an airplane crash on Thursday April 1, 1993 traveling from an appearance in Knoxville at Hooters aboard a Hooters corporate plane flight across Tennessee before the Sunday spring race at Bristol.
NASCAR.com discusses the hot topics of the week RELATED: Follow your picks in the Chase Battle Grid Presented by Toyota 1. The Eliminator Round consists of three very distinct tracks with the shortest on the schedule (Martinsville), a 1.5-miler (Texas) and a relatively flat 1-mile oval in Phoenix . Do any of the three stand out as more likely to adversely impact the Chase drivers? Alan Cavanna: They'll all have their challenges, but I think the biggest may be the first one. You can find trouble in Martinsville on the track and in the pits. One small thing can put you in a big hole right away. Zack Albert: Two potential schools of thought here. In terms of track, I think Martinsville is so difficult to figure out that it's very particular with who runs well there. On the other hand, Phoenix will be so much of a pressure-cooker with the final four drivers trying to lock into the Homestead championship finale that it could be an anything-goes type of race. Kenny Bruce: I want to say that Martinsville, with its slower speeds, isn't as much of a risk for those guys. Typically damage there is minimal, with teams being able to fix most problems and still be in the hunt. Then I remember the run-in between Brad Keselowski and Kurt Busch earlier this year, with Keselowski eventually finishing 38th. So it definitely can happen. Cavanna: My mind goes right back to Clint Bowyer 's dive-bomb a few years ago at Martinsville that took out the 24 and 48. We won't see those moves at other tracks. But at Martinsville drivers will try. And who won that day? Current Chase surprise Ryan Newman . Bruce: After being at Talladega and witnessing the added pressure of it being a cutoff race, I have to agree with you Zack. The pressure will be there in all three, but at Phoenix it could be incredible. Albert: The spring race at Phoenix wasn't particularly nutso, but pressure works in mysterious ways. Cavanna: I agree about the Phoenix factor. At the very least we'll have five drivers competing for one at-large spot, possibly more. Bruce: If you think about it, all three tracks have had their share of memorable moments. The Bowyer incident, as you mention, Alan , at Martinsville; Gordon and Jeff Burton at Texas and Gordon and Bowyer at Phoenix . Hey, what is it with Gordon and Bowyer? Albert: Doesn't the 15 still owe the 24 one? Bruce: Possibly, Zack. If Martinsville was truly the site of paybacks, we could see a record number of cautions. Fortunately, I think some folks have too much at stake to get in the middle of a meltdown. Cavanna: I hope Gordon isn't a San Francisco Giants fan. A new rivalry may have started with Bowyer's Royals. 2. Team owner Roger Penske said after Talladega that he thinks other drivers are jealous of Brad Keselowski because of his driver's success this season. So, are others jealous of Bad Brad? Cavanna: I don't think you'd ever hear a driver say they're jealous of BK. I think some might be annoyed with him. And deep down, some of that has to be rooted in jealously. Albert: I think there's an element of every driver wanting to be the top dog. I think there may be some jealousy of the team he's with, but I don't know if it reaches a more personal level. Cavanna: At some point, I think it does Zack. In the hierarchy of the garage, Brad K. stepped over a lot of people who seemed to be next up to be crowned champion. Carl Edwards , Kevin Harvick , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch are all still searching for that first title. Bruce: Either they were laying it on thick earlier this week, or the other Chase drivers respect and admire what Keselowski has been able to accomplish since coming into Sprint Cup. Maybe they aren't fans of the way he carries himself, or the way he races in some instances, but they all know how difficult it is to be successful in this sport. Even Matt Kenseth said he admired how Brad came up through the ranks and what he's done. As you said, Alan , I think "annoyed" is a better description of how others feel about him at times. Albert: True, admirable. And the success without a perceived paying of dues can ruffle feathers. But actual respect only goes so far through all of Keselowski's outspoken nature in his comments through the years and the on-track antics in the Charlotte cool-down lap. Cavanna: I get the feeling some hoped BK would be an annoying fly they could swat away. But that doesn't appear to be happening. Bruce: Take his personality out of the equation and you have a driver that has won six times this year, won five poles and is considered one of the favorites for this year's title. Stout stuff. But as Zack noted, it's the "other" items that perhaps have some people questioning his position in the sport. Albert: Keselowski said in his 2012 championship speech in Las Vegas, "As a champion, I want to be your leader, and I want to help you make it happen." Are we there yet? Bruce: Well, maybe not just yet, Zack, but we could be getting there. Keep the cameras rolling, just in case. Cavanna: I don't think so Zack, and part of it may be other drivers' personal feelings toward him. It's like a reality TV show competition; you have to play both the professional and social game to win. 3. We mentioned Martinsville earlier. What is the likelihood that we will see payback in some form or fashion this week when the series heads up the interstate for this weekend's race? Cavanna: Payback just doesn’t seem worth it if you’re a Chase driver. Let's say Hamlin takes a cheap shot at Keselowski during the race. Then what? It certainly wouldn’t be over. Keselowski would have nothing to lose by coming back a getting Hamlin the week after. It'd be lose-lose for both of them. Albert: If we're going to see any, it's most likely going to be at Martinsville. Still, let's remember back to the spring when Keselowski leaned on Kurt Busch – it ultimately didn't matter since Kurt went on to win the race. So sometimes purposeful retaliation doesn't have all that much effect beyond the principle of the thing. Bruce: Payback comes in all forms and fashions, Alan . As Kevin Harvick noted earlier this week, payback isn't always about wrecking someone. At a track such as Martinsville, you can make it extremely difficult for another guy to get around you. You can be a pain on pit road. It doesn't even have to be in the actual race - you can annoy someone during practice if that's your goal. Albert: Or you can sneak into the infield concession stand and spike their hot dogs. Bruce: I know NASCAR cautions drivers each week during the Chase to "let the race play out" and not get involved in paybacks or things of that nature, but there's an awful lot that goes on out on the track that doesn't always come to light. Is that a P3 penalty, Zack? Or a guarantee that your car will be the random after the race? Albert: Doctoring hot dogs certainly falls under the heading of "actions detrimental to stock-car racing." At least a P3, season-ending probation and cutting off the supply of Goody's to the pit box. Cavanna: Excellent point, Kenny. We've seen Hamlin and Harvick have issues at Bristol. And I can remember a few drivers making it tough on Logano in the pits in the past. I forgot about those little things. Bruce: A driver never forgets, Alan . Just as Jimmy Spencer. Cavanna: Still, if you’re a driver with unsettled business, I'd be working the phones and text messages before Sunday. I think we saw some of that happen with Logano and Danica Patrick . Bruce: Which may or may not be settled, depending on whom you ask. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL CHASE COVERAGE • Chase hub page • Chase Grid games • #MyChaseNation
NASCAR.com's Chris Rice and Alan Cavanna explain how brakes play a significant factor in success at Marinsville Speedway.
Alan Cavanna brings you Up To Speed following Eliminator Media Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Host Alan Cavanna and analysts Brad Parrott, Bobby Labonte, Chris Rice and Marty Snider preview this week's action at Martinsville Speedway as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup kicks off the Eliminator Round.
NASCAR.com's Chris Rice and Alan Cavanna show us what factors can affect ride height at Talladega and Daytona.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- With the new year beginning, the NASCAR Hall of Fame is set to unveil a new exhibition, Short Careers, Lasting Legacy , on Saturday. The debut also kicks off Open House Week where guests can visit the entertainment facility for free between 4-6 p.m. ET Jan. 8-14. "We made a commitment to provide new exhibits throughout the year," Winston Kelley, executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame said. "The unveiling of this exhibition will mark the fourth change to the Great Hall since we opened in May. In changing exhibits, we have been able to educate the public on historical and current events in the sport." Hall of Fame Videos and Bios Complete Coverage Short Careers, Lasting Legacy is on exhibit through late June in the Great Hall. It showcases authentic artifacts that tell the story of some of NASCAR's most memorable personalities. The exhibition recognizes individuals who left the sport in their prime or before they reached their full potential. Family and friends of those featured in Short Careers, Lasting Legacy will unveil the new exhibition 1 p.m. ET Saturday in the Great Hall. NASCAR Hall of Fame 2011 Inductees Bobby Allison and Ned Jarrett are among the many notable guests scheduled to attend. The event is open to all NASCAR Hall of Fame ticket holders. "Some of the competitors and personalities who had relatively short careers in NASCAR made a lasting impact on the sport," Kelley said. "This exhibition pays tribute to those talented individuals. We are honored that several family members, colleagues and friends plan to join us Saturday for the launch of our first, new exhibition in 2011." Short Careers, Lasting Legacy honors the careers and pays tribute to the legacy of those who left a unique mark on the competition and character of NASCAR. Highlighting the exhibition is Tim Richmond's No. 25 Folgers Monte Carlo (1987), Alan Kulwicki's No. 7 Hooters Thunderbird (1992) and Davey Allison's No. 28 Texaco Thunderbird. Additional artifacts on display commemorate NASCAR contributors Bondy Long, Carl Kiekhaefer, Adam Petty and Billy and Bobby Myers. The introduction of the new exhibition also coincides with the beginning of Open House Week at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Between 4-6 p.m. ET Jan. 8-14, the community is invited to see the NASCAR Hall free of charge. "More than 200,000 people have visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame and their reviews continue to be incredibly positive," Kelley said. "Now, we are offering a special opportunity for those who haven't visited to see what all the talk is about. I'm sure there are some people who have been curious about the new venue but just want to look around before deciding to spend several hours or a day with us -- this is their chance. Regardless of your interest in NASCAR, this is a fun, entertainment attraction that is important to the economy of our area. We hope the community will take us up on our invitation to learn more about Charlotte's new family attraction." Guests taking part in the free-for-all experience at the NASCAR Hall of Fame will find 40,000 square feet of exhibit space showcasing highly-interactive, hands-on exhibits and authentic artifacts telling the story of NASCAR. The Hard Card experience is not included in the Open House. General admission to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, which includes the Hard Card experience, is $19.95 for adults, $17.95 for seniors and military, $12.95 for children 5-12 and free for children younger than 5. Simulators are $5. Family packages, group discounts and Charter Members also are available. The NASCAR Hall of Fame is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. ET daily. Tickets can be purchased by calling (877) 231-2010 or at www.NASCARHall.com.
Dale Earnhardt wins the title, and Rusty Wallace wins the final race of 1993 in Atlanta as the pay tribute to the loss of Alan Kulwicki and Davey Allison.