Jeff Gordon was selected to the NASCAR Hall of Fame as the highest vote-getter in history on Wednesday.
A four-time Cup Series champion who helped take stock car racing from a regional sport to the mainstream in the 1990s, Gordon received 96 percent of the votes from the Hall of Fame committee.
He’s third in Cup history with 93 victories — only Richard Petty (200) and David Pearson (105) have won more Cup races than Gordon.
Car owners Jack Roush and Roger Penske also were selected for enshrinement.
They will be joined by Greenfield native and UW-Milwaukee graduate Alan Kulwicki, known for his unique “Polish victory lap,” and Davey Allison, who won 19 Cup races, including the 1992 Daytona 500. Both died in 1993 — Kulwicki at age 38 in a plane crash and Allison three months later in a helicopter crash at 32.
With no sponsor and a limited budget, Kulwicki went on to win the 1986 NASCAR Rookie of the Year with his self-owned AK Racing team. He won five career races, including the Winston Cup championship in 1992. He never got a chance to defend that title.
Kulwicki, a former short-track racer, perhaps became best known for his victory celebrations where he turned around his car after crossing the finish line and driving in the opposite direction around the track.
In 1998, he was named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers.
Jim Hunter was selected as the Landmark Award winner, given annually to someone for their “outstanding contributions to NASCAR.”