My parents were Bill Elliott fans but I'm sure in hindsight they're glad Alan won the title. Davey was my favorite, though, so that '92 title decider is still bittersweet. But Alan did it his way all the way, and it's hard not to respect that. He was a tremendously talented and driven individual and a huge, huge loss for our sport because we only enjoyed his title reign for five races.
It's still hard to believe we lost the champ like that. The only other time it's happened that I can think of in major North American auto racing since the 1950s would be Little Joe Weatherly, the '62 and '63 champ who was killed at Riverside in 1964.
Semi-funny story about Alan and Hooters. In April 1995, it was the day Mark Martin won Talladega and Earnhardt wrecked on the backstretch on the last lap because we watched the finish in the room, my family and some of my mom's relatives had gathered in Panama City, FL, for a vacation. We were staying at the Days Inn and if you looked outside, boom, there was a Hooters. Well when I thought of Hooters I didn't think of the girls, I thought of Alan Kulwicki. So I implored my parents to let me eat dinner there, to show solidarity with my fallen champion. They, obviously, said no. I pitched a fit about wanting to eat at Hooters, in front of my mom's relatives, God, and several other people who were outside that time of night and even more who probably could hear me on the other side of the hotel. No doubt embarrassed my mom to no end.
"This one's for every one of those fans in the stands that pull for me every week and take all the bull**** from everybody else." - Tony Stewart, July 29, 2007