After ciphering through more than 100 applicants, selecting seven to be part of the inaugural program and racing through a grueling schedule, the Kulwicki Driver Development program is awarding more than $50,000 to its champion Ty Majeski.
The KKDP held its banquet at The Speedway Club at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina on Monday night to celebrate the seven-driver class and formally recognize Wisconsin driver Ty Majeski as the inaugural KDDP champion.
Highly respected members of the racing world such as Rusty Wallace, Humpy Wheeler, Tony Gibson, Paul Andrews and Bob Dillner were in attendance to celebrate the accomplishments of Majeski, Steve Apel, Reagan May, Justin Crider, Dave Farrington, Bryce Napier and Cole Williams, as well as celebrate the birthday of the 1992 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, Alan Kulwicki.
The champion, Majeski, received the first Kulwicki Cup trophy, with a trademark Kulwicki symbol on it, the Mighty Mouse cartoon figure. He also took home a check for $54,439 for a season in which he amassed 19 victories.
“It means a lot,” said Majeski. “We worked all season for this. All seven drivers pushed each other throughout the season. It feels really good to come out on top.”
The top three finishers in the inaugural KDDP season all have something in common with the namesake of the program, and that’s having Wisconsin as their home state. Majeski, Apel and May all hail from the Cheesehead State, as did Kulwicki. The accomplishment of having all three drivers from Wisconsin sweep the podium positions were not lost on them.
“It’s really cool, especially being that Alan was from Wisconsin,” said runner-up finisher Apel, who won his third-straight championship at Slinger Speedway and the Red, White and Blue championship at Wisconsin Int’l Raceway. “Wisconsin has tough competition. We get to do a lot of racing because we have a lot of tracks really close to each other. There’s a lot of opportunity to race. You could race Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday if you wanted to. With the top three all being from Wisconsin this year, we were definitely on our A-game.”
“I think it’s just a testament to the amount of competition, good drivers, car counts and race tracks that we have in this state,” said May, who won the title at Marshfield Motor Speedway to become the first female to win a track championship in the state of Wisconsin. “It’s always been a prominent state in racing when you look at the names that have come out of it like Matt Kenseth, Dick Trickle and obviously Alan Kulwicki. It just proves that we’re up there racing against a lot of good race car drivers and the competition is always strong.”
Monday night’s banquet was a nice way to cap-off the inaugural KDDP season. Every driver raced hard throughout the year, and a couple of the drivers had some run-ins with each other, but everybody in attendance was there to have a good time and celebrate.
“Tom Roberts has done an amazing job with the KDDP,” said Majeski. “We’re here at Charlotte Motor Speedway and there’s a race track outside. Everyone has done an unbelievalbe job coordinating the whole weekend. We went go-karting last night, we had a photo shoot on the track. It was just awesome.”
The KDDP is now taking applications for its second year of the program. If you would like to apply to be one of seven drivers to receive $7,777 and be in the running for the championship at the end of the year, please visit kulwickiddp.com for more information.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Regional Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com