December 14, 1954 - April 1, 1993
1992 Winston Cup Champion.
Kulwicki did not change his spending habits after winning the 1992 championship. "The only thing I really wanted to buy was a plane", he said, "but it turns out Hooters has a couple I can use."
Kulwicki died in an airplane crash on Thursday April 1, 1993. He was returning from an appearance at the Knoxville Hooters in a Hooters corporate plane on a short flight across Tennessee before the Sunday spring race at Bristol. The plane slowed and crashed just before final approach at Tri-Cities Regional Airport near Blountville. The National Transportation Safety Board attributed the crash to the pilot's failure to use the airplane's anti-ice system to clear ice from the engine inlet system.
Kulwicki was buried at St. Adalbert's Cemetery in Milwaukee in a family plot with his mother and brother.
The funeral was attended by NASCAR President Bill France, Jr. and numerous drivers. Kulwicki's racecar transporter was driven from the rainy track later that Friday morning while other teams and the media watched it travel slowly around the track with a black wreath on its grille. Years later, Kyle Petty described the slow laps as "the saddest thing I've ever seen at a racetrack, we just sat and cried". Three days after Kulwicki's death, Bristol race winner Rusty Wallace honored his former short track rival by performing Kulwicki's trademark Polish Victory Lap.