NASCAR

Kulwicki family giving $1.9M to UNC-Charlotte

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CONCORD, N.C. (AP)

The family of late NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki is donating $1.9 million to the motorsports engineering program at UNC-Charlotte.

The trust fund, established by Kulwicki's stepmother, Thelma, was announced Thursday and is the largest gift ever made to the engineering school. It will be used for annual scholarships and the construction of a new building.

"This was something Alan was very proud of and for him it ranked right up there with all his victories," Thelma Kulwicki said. "Alan was a firm believer in the inherent value of education, and his academic experiences helped him to overcome some big odds and achieve great things."

The school's board of trustees will rename the existing research laboratory the Alan D. Kulwicki Motorsports Laboratory in recognition of the donation.

The program is in its 10th year, and produces about 10 percent of the engineers currently working in NASCAR. Dean of engineering Bob Johnson created the program in 1998 after recognizing a trend of students coming to the Charlotte campus in pursuit of a career in NASCAR.

The Kulwicki family is also donating $630,000 to his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received a mechanical engineering degree from the school in 1977.

"He succeeded through his entrepreneurial, technical and leadership skills (and) at UWM, we strive to impart those same qualities in our students today," said Michael Lovell, dean of engineering and applied science at UWM.

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