Upcoming Events on

RATV white
Full Schedule

Kulwicki Spotlight: Chase Burda Pursuing Kulwicki Cup, JEGS/CRA Titles in 2024

Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalist Chase Burda hopes to back up his 2023 JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour title while competing for the Kulwicki Cup in 2024.


hero image for Kulwicki Spotlight: Chase Burda Pursuing Kulwicki Cup, JEGS/CRA Titles in 2024

There’s always been a connection to Alan Kulwicki for Chase Burda.

Burda’s father was a Kulwicki fan. Kulwicki’s do-it-yourself story resonated with the mechanic and shop owner.

“My dad, he liked Alan. He’s a mechanic himself,” Burda told Racing America. “He owns a repair shop. That was Alan. He was hands-on, he owned his own team and everything.”

Several years ago, Burda saw one of Kulwicki’s “Underbird” cars at the Hooters Casino while traveling to Las Vegas for a quarter-midget event, and his dad regaled him with the story behind the iconic car and the man who drove it.

“I remember it being the Hooters car, and I remember asking him why it said ‘Underbird’ instead of ‘Thunderbird.’ His underdog story, he told me about.”

Now, Burda is one of seven drivers “racing for Alan” as part of the 2024 Kulwicki Driver Development Program.

“Knowing my dad and knowing how much he liked him, it’s really cool to be racing for a guy of that caliber,” said Burda.

“It’s cool to race for somebody like him. Words can’t describe.”


Burda applied for this year’s Kulwicki Driver Development Program, going through the rigorous application process to narrow down 15 semifinalists, and then seven finalists.

The countdown to the morning of March 19 was a stressful one, but it proved to be rewarding when Burda spotted his name on the list of finalists.

RELATED: 2024 Kulwicki Driver Development Program Finalists Announced

“I was like stressing for 15 minutes before, pacing around and waiting. To just see my name on the list, it was really cool and an honor to be in the top seven to race for Alan.

“Knowing how much he impacted our sport, it’s cool to race for Kulwicki and their whole program. It puts a lot of pressure on this year, on and off the track, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

KDDP competitors are evaluated throughout the season based on both their on-track results and their off-track efforts to further Alan Kulwicki’s legacy. Burda is giving back to a pivotal part of his childhood as part of his charitable efforts this season.

“Family Literacy, it’s a charity, they help tutor kids and do a lot of fund-raisers, stuff like that. I tutor for them on Tuesdays. Actually, when I was younger, I was one of those kids getting tutored, so it all worked out together.

“Once we found out this was serious about the Kulwicki thing, that we had a shot, we reached out with them. I did all the training protocols and stuff. This year, I’ll be tutoring with them, helping with their fundraisers, stuff like that.”


Along with the pressure of competing for the Kulwicki Cup this year, Chase Burda also has a championship to defend.

Burda dominated the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour presented by Chevrolet Performance in 2023, scoring three victories and lifting the series championship at year’s end.

Burda has targeted another run at the All-Stars Tour championship in 2024, looking to join Cody Coughlin and Jack Dossey, III as back-to-back champions of the series. However, several competitors have announced their intentions to compete full-time with the series in 2024.

RELATED: Burda Returning to Defend JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Title in 2024

There is little question Burda will be one of the favorites entering the season, but there will be no shortage of competition seeking to knock Burda off the throne.

“I think we’ve just got to go with the same mindset as last year. We’re going to try to win the championship and try to win as much as we can. I think, from last year, all the notes we have should help us a lot this year.

“We’ll be going to a lot of familiar tracks we have been to and have a good notebook from. It puts a lot of pressure on us because we had a really successful year. We have the same group of guys, so it should work out as good. It just takes consistency, being out front, and running a clean race.”

Regardless, Burda is excited to see stronger fields and more competition entering those events this year.

“To see that grow and the All-Stars Tour grow, especially, is really cool for CRA. Before I was really around template racing, there were all kinds of big names that came from it. To see it grow is incredible and, honestly, it makes it really exciting to run this year with those people and more cars, having more competition makes the race weekends better, I feel.”

-Photo credit: Will Bellamy, Racing America

RA Icon


Sign-up for our free NASCAR & Grassroots racing newsletter...