I do not remember much of anything from the 1993 Winston Cup season. The unfortunate passing of Winston Cup champion Alan Kulwicki in a private plane crash on April 1 of that year coupled with that of Davey Allison just over three months later in a helicopter crash overshadowed any of the events on the track. The news of both of their deaths was very sad for all of the fans of the sport, myself included, even though many had never met either of the drivers. For this and other reasons, we decided not to go to Sears Point that year. From this, I found out for the first time how closely fans connect to the experiences of the athletes in their sport, be they triumphs or tragedies. Even so, the memories that I have of both the drivers and the stories I have heard of them over the years has allowed them to live on in my memory. There was Allison, with his dominating on-track performances and ability to drive while injured. Then I remember Kulwicki, calm and collected, wearing a Mighty Mouse patch on his uniform while driving car number seven. I certainly hope future fans will remember Kulwicki and Allison’s contributions when they look back at NASCAR’s illustrious past.
After the tragic deaths of Kulwicki and Allison, I do, however, remember at the time what became of their teams. In one of the first races without Kulwicki, I remember how odd it was that when driver Jimmy Hensley came on board, the sponsor changed from Hooters Restaurants to The Family Channel. I also remember that Robby Gordon became the first driver to take over for Davey Allison in the twenty-eight car at Talladega, but during the early stages of the race, Gordon wrecked his car the start / finish line. Gordon was able to walk away from the wreck.