CONCORD, N.C. (November 1, 2022) – Thirty years ago on a chilly but sunny November day one of the most dramatic and emotional races in NASCAR Cup history unfolded at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Millions watched the 1992 season finale on ESPN while more than 160,000 fans jammed into the track’s grandstand and infield, but the historical magnitude of what they witnessed that day would come much later.
Richard Petty, stock car racing’s “King”, ended his 35-year racing career in the Hooters 500. Petty’s year-long Farewell Tour included an Alabama concert in the Georgia Dome on the eve of the season finale.
Jeff Gordon made his Cup debut in a Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet with crew chief Ray Evernham.
However, it was the championship battle that captivated the racing world that weekend. Entering the Hooters 500, six drivers possessed a mathematical chance at the championship. That was the most ever with an opportunity at the title heading into the season finale. Those six were Alan Kulwicki, Bill Elliott, Davey Allison, Kyle Petty, Harry Gant and Mark Martin. Kulwicki had produced an unbelievable point surge to be in contention for the championship. In five races he had overcome a 278-point deficit to pull within 30 points of standings leader Allison. Now, he would do what many thought was impossible. He and his team would defeat the powerhouse and legendary Junior Johnson organization for the coveted championship by leading the most laps in the event and finishing second to winner Elliott.
On Dec. 14, which would have been Kulwicki’s 68th birthday, several of those involved in that historical event will revisit it in a memory roundtable during the Kulwicki Driver Development Program Awards Banquet in The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Legendary ESPN broadcaster Dr. Jerry Punch, who was in Kulwicki’s pit that day, will moderate the candid night of reflection beginning at 5 p.m., ET. In addition to Kulwicki’s crew chief Paul Andrews and several team members, others scheduled to participate in the roundtable are Richard and Kyle Petty; Tim Brewer, Elliott’s crew chief; Evernham; and Larry McReynolds, Allison’s crew chief. Expect to see and hear from many surprise guests.
Also during the evening, the seventh Kulwicki Cup Champion (Dylan Zampa) and the six other finalists will be honored. NASCAR 2004 Cup champion Kurt Busch is the banquet’s guest speaker.
Official KDDP media partner, RacingAmerica.com, will offer a live-streaming broadcast of the event. RacingAmerica’s Alan Deitz, the RA crew and Tom Roberts, KDDP executive director, will emcee the event.
For additional information, please visit kddp.eventbrite.com today.
-Kulwicki Driver Development Program Press Release
-Photo credit: ISC Archives via Getty Images