Alan Kulwicki, a mechanical engineer who races for his own company, grabbed the lead with 16 laps to go Sunday when a blown radiator hose crippled Ricky Rudd's car and held on for his first NASCAR Winston Cup feature win in the inaugural Checker 500.

Kulwicki, 33, the 1986 Rookie of the Year, averaged 90.457 mph for 312 laps on the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway oval.