2002/2003 Past News
2001 Past News
2000 Past News
1999 Past News
1998 Past News
1997 Past News
Ernie Story/Article Links
Jayski Note on Ernie
The Ernie Story
Driver Spotlight - Ernie Irvan
by Lyn Jeffers
The Ernie Story
NASCAR Silly Season Site
Note: All these stats compiled by Jayski
The Irvan Family Birthdays
Ernie's Video: Miracles Happen is no longer available anyplace I could find
|Parents:||Vic and Jo Irvan|
Some recent links for Ernie Irvan and family:
Ernie Irvan - Twitter
Jared Irvan - Facebook page
Jared Irvan - Twitter
Kim Irvan - Twitter
Ernie Irvan Stats - RacingReference.info
Jared Irvan Stats - RacingReference.info
Second generation Irvan piloting familiar colors for second generation car owner In the upcoming race at Thompson Speedway, Martin-McClure Racing will welcome a new driver, Jared Irvan, as he continues his father's legacy in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, formally the NASCAR Busch North Series, in the colors first made famous by his father. In its two years of operation, MMR has competed exclusively in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. During this time, MMR has achieved three wins in the 2016 race season and is currently seated 3rd in the series standings. The team has achieved all of this out of the former Morgan-McClure Motorsports complex in Abingdon, VA. It is in this building that a new generation of drivers, crew members, and owners build upon the rich history of the iconic yellow #4 car from the 1980s and 1990s.
It is the Martin-McClure Racing organization's privilege to pay tribute to this recognizable paint scheme while participating in the inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Throwback weekend at Thompson Speedway on July 8, 2017. MMR will debut its own #4 Overstock Mercantile / Boyer Drilling / Lighting Auto Sales / CitruSafe scheme complete in the livery of the easily recognizable #4 entry of years past.
"This is a really special opportunity for me personally, and for our entire organization,” said MMR co-owner Eric McClure. “Looking at the colors of the car brings back a rush of memories, and the success of this car two decades ago provided many opportunities, and still brings a tremendous amount of pride. I'm excited to welcome Jared to our team. He's young and fast. And we've laid a solid foundation for our team, with a standard of excellence. I'm hopeful that we can go to Thompson and perform in such a way that will make my dad, Larry, Teddy, Ed, Tim and Ernie Irvan proud."
The vibrant paint scheme was a staple in the Monster Energy Cup Series for nearly a decade, but also made an appearance in the NASCAR Busch North Series in 1993, when Ernie Irvan claimed the pole position at Watkins Glen International Raceway. "I am very exited for the opportunity to be driving for Martin-McClure Racing at Thompson Speedway,” said Jarad Irvan. “It is a very good opportunity and I can't thank the team enough. This should be a very cool race with all the throwback schemes. I hope we will be able to have a good showing in my second ever NASCAR K&N Pro Series race."(Kingsport News)(6-28-2017)
Stewart and Irvan Inducted Into Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame: Steve Page Sonoma Raceway's president and general manager introduced 2016 Wall of Fame Honorees Ernie Irvan and Tony Stewart before a crowd of vocal and enthusiastic fans and media. Page said, the Wall of Fame was started "a decade ago as a way to honor the legacy and thank those" who have contributed to the history of the circuit. Both drivers are two-time winners here. Page called the 1992 race, in which Irvan from the back of the grid "one of the most remarkable races" he'd ever seen. When asked about his part in the fast growth of NASCAR in the 1990s, Irvan said, "I'm just one part of it. Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough and others " set the stage for the explosive growth the sport experienced. Stewart thanked Page with mixed emotions, "I've always looked forward to coming here," noting he marked the date in his calendar. And now looking ahead to last race, at the Sprint Cup level, he felt a bit sentimental. That said, Stewart who will retire from his ride at the team he co-owns with Gene Haas stressed that this was his last year in driving in Sprint Cup but not as a driver in other series, "I can't wait to start the second part of my career."(Sonoma Raceway)(6-26-2016)
Salinas’ Irvan to be honored at Sonoma Raceway by Ray Sotero (6-21-2016)
Tony Stewart, Ernie Irvan to be Inducted into Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame: Sonoma Raceway will add two NASCAR legends to its Wall of Fame during the upcoming Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event weekend, June 24-26. Tony Stewart and Ernie Irvan will become the newest members of the raceway's Wall of Fame, joining fellow NASCAR stars Rusty Wallace (2005), Mark Martin (2005), Jeff Gordon (2006), Ricky Rudd (2007) and Rick Hendrick (2010). In more than 15 years of competition on the Sonoma Raceway road course, Stewart has become known as one of the most talented drivers on the challenging circuit. In recognition of his accomplishments, and to honor his final year as a driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Stewart will be inducted into the Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame. Irvan made his mark in Sonoma with two victories, including one of the road course's most memorable. In 1992, Irvan claimed his first Sonoma win in the Save Mart Supermarkets 300 after being black-flagged at the start for crossing the starting line ahead of pole winner Ricky Rudd. He came back to pass 41 cars to take the checkered flag. Just two years later, Irvan became the first two-time winner of a NASCAR Cup event in Sonoma, winning by the largest margin of victory in raceway history (9.56 seconds) over Geoffrey Bodine. The Sonoma Raceway Wall of Fame is designed to honor those who have excelled not only in their form of motor racing, but more importantly, in Sonoma. Each inductee is recognized during a ceremony with a marble plaque engraved with his/her likeness. The engraving is also added to the Wall of Fame, which is located behind the main grandstand.(Sonoma Raceway)(6-10-2016)
Under the Hood: At Shootout, Irvan enjoys racing, time with his son by David Exum (7-24-2015)
Ernie Irvan's son wins late model race: Jared Irvan knew he could win the PASS South super late model race at Anderson, S.C., Speedway if his parents would allow him to enter, but his father, former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan, was still stunned when his 17-year-old son received the checkered flag for his first-ever victory in the series. “I was dumfounded,” the 1991 Daytona 500 winner said. “I couldn’t believe that we had finally put it all together. It’s probably one of the best Father’s Day presents I’ve had. We all knew he had a lot of talent and was able to win races. We just hadn’t been able to put it all together. He did a great job. He drove like a veteran because he knew he had enough car under him not to have to push it harder than he had to push it.”
The young Midland resident’s confidence in his ability to win at the three-eighths-mile track stemmed from the fact that he had raced more at that speedway than any other on the circuit. “I knew some tricks of the track that some other people didn’t,” Jared said. “I was able to change up my line a little bit and use that to my advantage.” Jared’s side-by-side duel with Concord’s Roger Lee Newton began with 15 laps remaining. For the next nine laps, they remained fender-to-fender before Jared gained the advantage with six laps to go. He then gradually pulled away, forcing Newton to settle for second. Troutman’s Clay Rogers placed third.(Charlotte Observer)(6-26-2015)
Jared Irvan’s NASCAR K&N debut spoiled by electrical, tire issues by Deb Williams (2-20-2015)
Irvan and Reno still working together: Ernie Irvan’s son, Jared, raced in the PASS South super late-model series this year driving Ernie’s #28 that carried him to eight of his 15 victories. Irvan drove Marc Reno’s unheralded #56 Dale Earnhardt Chevy to a 29th-place finish in his Cup debut on Sept. 13, 1987 at Richmond. Reno, for his part, can’t seem to get enough of helping a young racer named Irvan. He spotted for Jared during the 2014 season. Things aren’t so easy for the junior Irvan. His on-track talent can’t be denied – he finished in the top 10 in 10 of his 14 PASS races – but his father believes it takes more than skill and word-of-mouth to get a driver up the ladder. “It’s all about money,” Irvan said. “It’s just the way it is. To get a race team to see that you’ve got a lot of talent and to be able to say, ‘I’m going to run this guy and he’s going to a great job,’ you almost have to have somebody else involved. It makes it tough. Take Kyle Larson. Obviously, (car owner) Chip (Ganassi) saw him and saw the talent, but I don’t think there’s a lot of people out looking for talent because talent ends up showing up at your door. People just say, ‘Hey, I’ve got this guy and I’ve got this sponsor, would you consider running him?’” Jared Irvan doesn’t have the benefit of a major sponsor to move forward. He doesn’t have a famous driver’s dealership on his car, either. In order for Irvan’s son to be one of the 10 percent he believes can get an opportunity, he’ll need some outside help. “We don’t have anything very secure yet,” Irvan said. “We ran the super late model and we’re hoping to do some K&N (Pro Series East) stuff next year.”(National Speed Sport News)(12-23-2014)
Ernie Irvan's son takes next step in racing career: Jared Irvan was merely an infant when his father, Ernie, retired as a NASCAR driver in 1999, but that never affected his enthusiasm for racing. Ever since he was 4, the younger Irvan has piloted some type of race car. First it was go-karts on the family’s dirt track in Mooresville, then quarter midgets at the North Carolina Quarter Midget Association Speedway in Salisbury. The family briefly moved to Charleston, S.C., but upon their return to Midland in Cabarrus County, Irvan began competing in a Ford Focus Midget. He won the championship two consecutive years in that series, while also competing in Legends Cars in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout. Last year, he made his debut in a super late model, with a seventh-place finish at Hickory Motor Speedway.
In 2014, with sponsorship from Auramist, the now-15-year-old Irvan will compete full time in the PASS Super Late Model Series. Then, when June arrives, he will split his time between PASS and the CMS Summer Shootout Series. “There’s been a lot of good guys run the PASS Super Late Model Series,” the older Irvan said when asked how he determined his son’s racing route. “We’ve followed in Ryan Blaney’s footsteps. We’ve been racing quarter midgets, and now we’re running a super late model. Hopefully, we can be on the same page with Ryan. Kyle Busch ran that series a lot, and Ross Kenseth, Matt’s son, runs that series a lot. So we’re really excited about going that path. Hopefully, in the next year or two we can go into the NASCAR K&N Series.”
Ernie Irvan said the super late model team was a family-owned operation, and “because of funding we have to make sure we do it all ourselves.” He has employed a crew chief to take care of the car, but he plans to be available whenever needed. Meanwhile, Jared has acquired his knowledge of his father’s racing career primarily through watching YouTube videos and the “Miracles Happen” movie. He also listens to his father’s stories of his racing days and has learned from them that “you can’t take anything for granted. You have to make the best of what you have when you have it,” he said. Eventually, Jared Irvan would like to compete in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series, but he’s focused on learning “as much as I can in every series that I’m in and take away as much as I can from every race that I’m in,” he said, “and then try and use that to my advantage in every other race.” Irvan’s 2014 PASS Super Late Model season begins Feb. 8 in New Smyrna Beach, FL.(Cabarrus News)(12-31-2013)
Ernie Irvan retruns as a car owner for his son: Ernie Irvan announced he is returning to the race track as a car owner in 2014 for son Jared. The Irvan duo will have primary sponsorship from Auramist, a leader in producing dry misting fans and cooling solutions. Jared Irvan will compete full-time in the Pro All Star Series South (PASS) at historical track such as Hickory Motor Speedway, South Boston Speedway and Orange County Speedway. Jared will also participate in the Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"I'm thrilled to be able to be back at the track and supporting my son Jared," Ernie said, "We are thankful that Auramist is coming on board as the sponsor. We all know that competing in racing is not easy, not matter who you are, and we look forward to representing their brand on and off the track." Jared, 15-years-old, is currently a sophomore at cfa Academy in Concord, N.C., and has worked his way up the ranks from go-karts to Midgets to Legends cars and now to the PASS series. "It is an honor to be able to follow in my dad's footsteps," said Jared. "He not only my dad, but also my coach, and he brings so much knowledge from his years racing against the best in the sport. He's the role model when it comes to perseverance, and I want to be able to make him proud."
Ernie earned 15-career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories, including the 1991 Daytona 500. After sustaining multiple head injuries throughout the course of his career, Ernie was forced to retire in 1999.(OneMain Racing)(10-12-2013)
FoxSports - Video from RaceHub:
Ernie 'Swervin' Irvan: Where Is He Now?.(8-22-2013)
Ernie Irvan's son wins Midget Championship: Third generation racer Jared Irvan capped off a great week of racing in is his #28 Ernie Irvan Racing Race2Safety USAC Ignite Midget by capturing the 2012 USAC Ignite Eastern Swing Points title. The Midland, NC native picked up a win at Ace Speedway in the 30 lap main event on August 3rd. He began the week with two runner-up finishes at Concord Motorsports Park in twin 50 lap features and finished with a 6th place run at Hickory Motor Speedway on Saturday night to garner the most points over the four events.
“It was a great week”, said Jared. “I can’t thank my mom and dad (Kim and Ernie Irvan) and sister Jordan enough for their support along with my crew chief Ryan Scott. I have a great race car every event and feel like we can challenge for the win in every race”
Irvan also leads the USAC Ignite Midget Eastern Points going into this weekend’s long trip to Plymouth Speedway (IN) on August 10th and Grundy County Speedway (IL) on August 11th. Jared will battle against his Eastern rivals and the best of the Midwest on two tracks that he has never seen.
“Jared is doing a great job adjusting to new tracks that we visit,” said 1991 Daytona 500 winner and dad Ernie Irvan. “This weekend will be our biggest challenge to date as we not only head to racetracks we have never raced at but go into the backyard of the Midwest USAC Ignite Midget racers”. “We would really like to win the USAC Ignite Eastern Midget championship and as many races as we can”, added the 14 year old Irvan. “I am also really excited that I will be making my Late Model debut in the fall. We bought a PASS South car and I can’t wait to get behind the wheel and race a stock car”.(PR)(8-10-2012)
Great to see you Ernie Irvan! by Claire B. Lang.(5-1-2012)
ERNIE IRVAN TO CELEBRATE CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS AT RICHMOND: NASCAR legend, Ernie Irvan will celebrate his historic wins at Richmond International Raceway on Saturday, April 28 by participating in a Q&A Session at the Torque Club with a tweetup with fans. Irvan received his first and last career wins at the legendary racetrack. He is scheduled to participate in a tweetup with fans and Mike Calinoff, spotter for the No. 17 Best Buy Ford, outside the track from 3-4 p.m. Irvan will chat with fans in the Torque Club during a Q&A Session from 3:45-5 p.m.
"I'm glad I can share my stories with fans at a track that means so much to me," Irvan said. "This is a great track and I know all of the fans and I can't wait to watch Saturday night's race."(PR)(4-27-2012)
Irvan to appear at track banquet: former NASCAR driver and 1991 Daytona 500 champ Ernie Irvan is scheduled to be the guest of honor at the Plymouth Speedway awards banquet Saturday, Jan. 7, 2012. The banquet will be held at the LaPaz Community Building, behind the fire station on the east side of U.S. 31. Doors open at 5 p.m.; dinner is at 6 p.m. and the awards program starts at 7 p.m., with entertainment by the local band GreenFire to follow. Deadline for ordering tickets for the banquet is Dec. 28, and are $25 per person. Tickets will be held at Will Call under the ticket-orderer's name. Send check or money order to: Plymouth Speedway, 64851 Millet Road, Lakeville, IN 46536; Attention: Lynn Bingaman. Tickets may also be ordered at www.plymouthspeedway.net. Drivers must be present to receive their awards and the event is open to the public. Irvan will be holding an autograph session after awards are presented.(12-18-2011)
Ernie Irvan to race in Canada: three of NASCAR’s legendary stock car stars are scheduled to be at Flamboro Speedway near Hamilton on Frday, Canada Day, to take on some of the local regulars. Ernie Irvan, Jimmy Spencer and Kenny Schrader will join some top Ontario talent in Friday’s Race of Champions event as part of Flamboro’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
According to publicist Joshua Paxton, the afternoon program will begin at 1 p.m. with an autograph session featuring the three NASCAR Stars. Writes Paxton, “Ernie Irvan is often recognized as ‘Swervin’ Irvan’ and is best known for his 1991 Daytona 500 victory and personal recovery and return to racing after a vicious accident at Michigan International Speedway. Ken Schrader and Jimmy Spencer are widely recognized TV personalities as well as for their colourful careers in NASCAR and other racing series."
Two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin was originally scheduled to participate but had to bow out. None of the three NASCAR stars has been to the third-mile asphalt oval previously, leaving them only the Friday afternoon to scope out the place and take a few practice laps. By the time the main event takes the green flag, the stars will have likely have less than 50 laps experience.
As Paxton puts it, their professional skill and wide range of racing knowledge will be put to the test against the best grassroots drivers from Ontario. The race will feature 8-cylinder stock cars from across the province, recognized at Flamboro as Freedom Village Thunder Cars. Similar division titles include Street Stocks and Super Stocks. Admission is $35 and fans will also be treated to an intermission interview with the NASCAR stars moderated by Race Time Radio host Smokin’ Joe Chisholm.(Toronto Star)(6-29-2011)
Ernie to sign autographs: The South Carolina Stingrays and Gwinnett Gladiators square off, Saturday, November 20 at 7:05 p.m. for Epilepsy Awareness Night. NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan will be signing autographs during the first intermission at North Charleston Coliseum, more info at coliseumpac.com or
NASCAR's Ernie Irvan to Speak at Boys & Girls Clubs: Former Daytona 500 champion and stock car hall of fame driver Ernie Irvan will be the featured speaker at the eighth annual Steak and Stake Dinner on April 27 in Dalton hosted by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Gordon, Murray & Whitfield Counties. The Steak & Stake dinner will be held at the Carl Rollins Unit on 1013 Underwood Street. Doors will open at 6pm for tours and dinner will begin at 7pm
Irvan's NASCAR career accomplishments and highlights include 15 victories (including the Daytona 500 and Talladega), 68 Top-5 finishes, 124 Top-10 finishes and 22 poles with more than $11 million in winnings. After retiring from professional racing in 1999 due to his second head injury, the 51-year-old Salinas, Calif. native established a foundation, Race 2 Safety, to promote head injury awareness and prevention, especially among children. Race 2 Safety has provided more than 3,000 bicycle helmets to children and teens across the Southeast. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Gordon, Murray & Whitfield Counties provide after school and summer programs for kids in such areas as leadership, health and fitness, the arts, educational and career development, life skills and opportunities for youth. The Clubs, with five locations in the three counties, have more than 1500 members. For more information on www.bgcgmw.org.(Chattanoogan)(4-27-2010)
NASCAR Ranting and Raving:
The tragic case of a Daytona 500 champion [ Ernie Irvan] by Aaron Rosser.(2-13-2010)
Ernie Irvan drops suit against farm: Farmer Pete Ambrose is relieved that former race car driver Ernie Irvan and his wife, Kim, dropped a lawsuit that he says could have put him out of business. But he's not sure the matter is done. The Irvans, who live next door to the Ambrose Family Farm, filed a civil suit last month against Ambrose and his business, Rockland Avenue LLC. Ambrose owns and operates a 130-acre "community supported agriculture" farm, known as a CSA. That's a type of farm where people purchase a "share" at the start of a growing season and then pick up a supply of fruits and vegetables each week. Kim Irvan said Friday that she and her husband, a Daytona 500 winner, dropped the lawsuit, but they don't want to comment on the matter until next week. The lawsuit would have left it up to a judge to decide whether Ambrose's farm violated the covenants of the Selkirk Property Owners Association, of which Ambrose and the Irvans are members. The association's covenants, which govern the use of the land, prohibit retail and commercial activities but allow generally accepted farming practices. The Irvans' position is that having people pick up shares at the farm, and running a U-pick berry business in April and May are commercial activities; Ambrose's position is that they are basic farm practices.(Post and Courier)(12-16-2009)
Ernie Irvan’s Race2Safety Foundation Presents Helmets: After comprehensive fundraising efforts conducted during the first five years of its existence, former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan’s Race2Safety Foundation made its first major presentation this past week of more than 3,000 child bicycle safety helmets to Boys & Girls Clubs of America locations in the Southeast, as well as to a pair of organizations that also promote brain injury awareness and prevention with a special focus on kids. Thanks to funds raised via NASCAR fan track walk events at Michigan International Speedway and Pocono Raceway, the tremendous support of the NASCAR Foundation, proceeds from personal appearances by Irvan, as well as gifts from the former driver’s fans and supporters, Race2Safety conducted helmet presentations to Boys & Girls Clubs in Atlanta, Charleston, S.C., Columbia, S.C., and the Charlotte area. Race2Safety also will donate quantities of helmets to the Helmets for Kids organization in Minnesota headed by brain injury survivor and endurance cyclist Mike Heikes, as well as to the St. Camillus Health & Rehabilitation Center in Syracuse, N.Y. “After raising money for the last four or five years, we are extremely excited to finally have this first opportunity to see it all come together as we make our initial presentation of bicycle helmets and to help elevate awareness of brain injuries and their effects on our lives, particularly those of children,” said Irvan, whose illustrious NASCAR career was sidetracked by head injuries sustained in a horrific racing accident at Michigan International Speedway in 1994. “It’s difficult to find the right words to express how happy we are to be able to donate helmets to the Boys & Girls Clubs, to Mike Heikes and his Helmets for Kids organization, and to St. Camillus. I hope this will be the first of many, many events like this in the years to come.”
The mission of Race2Safety is to make a positive difference in the lives of men, women and children across America by informing and educating them about the latest transportation-related head protection equipment and technologies and actively promoting the everyday use of such equipment. The organization works closely with safety equipment manufacturers, head injury prevention and treatment associations, as well as state and federal transportation safety organizations to help dramatically reduce the number of transportation-related traumatic brain injuries that occur every year.(12-7-2009)
- Kodak Marks Conclusion of Motorsports Sponsorships: Eastman Kodak Company is taking another step to realign its corporate sponsorship activity to better support the company’s digital business model. Kodak said today it will conclude its corporate sponsorship of motorsports with NASCAR and Penske Racing effective at the end of 2008. “NASCAR and Penske Racing have been great partners for Kodak. These have been wonderful relationships that have served us well and we celebrate all we have done together,” said Kodak’s Betty Noonan, Director and Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Branding. “Just as we have transformed our company, we are transforming our marketing. We want to express our deepest thanks to our friends at NASCAR and Penske Racing for their partnership and support. We remain big fans and wish them continued success.” In December 2007, Kodak announced a new marketing partnership with the PGA TOUR that includes the Kodak Challenge competition and Kodak branding on digital scoreboards. Noonan added that Kodak is now focusing on opportunities to engage customers in other countries. About 60% of Kodak’s sales are outside the United States. Kodak has been a sponsor of NASCAR since 1986 and Penske Racing since 2004. In 2008, Kodak was a primary sponsor of the #12 Dodge in six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and an associate sponsor on the #3 and #6 Team Penske cars in the IndyCar Series. Kodak has been a part of four Daytona 500 wins, this year with Ryan Newman, in 1994 and 1995 with Sterling Marlin, and in 1991 with Ernie Irvan. To celebrate the Kodak Moments in motorsports, Kodak has posted a story on its A Thousand Words blog at 1000words.kodak.com.(Kodak PR)(10-27-2008) Comment here
- Knoxville News Sentinel:
Ernie Irvan likes way Kyle Busch 'gets it done' by Dave Link.(8-21-2008)
Irvan found his winning ways again at Loudon by Mark Aumann.(6-27-2008)
- From the Daytona 500 site: Two Minutes with Ernie Irvan, article and a video of Ernie Irvan.(1-13-2008)
- Irvan preaches prevention: Ernie Irvan knows first-hand how a traumatic brain injury can disrupt a life and a career. He also knows many of them are preventable, which is the message the former NASCAR driver brought to Indianapolis on Wednesday as keynote speaker at the Brain Injury Association of Indiana annual conference. Irvan, 48, suffered a life-threatening brain injury when he crashed at Michigan International Speedway in 1994. He defied the odds to return to racing but was forced to retire in 1999 after another hard hit in virtually the same place on the same racetrack. He has spent much of his time since trying to raise awareness about traumatic brain injuries, which each year afflict 1.5 million Americans and result in more than 50,000 deaths. He started the Race2Safety Foundation and speaks to a half-dozen groups a year.
"I'm just trying to get the message out about prevention," Irvan said. "The numbers keep going up. Every 23 seconds in the U.S., someone suffers another traumatic brain injury."
Many of the victims are children, the result of falls from bicycles and skateboards. "When I was growing up, I had a bicycle and never wore a helmet," Irvan said. "But kids need to wear a helmet and wear it properly."
Dr. James Malec, director of research at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, said having someone of Irvan's stature and life experience spreading the word is invaluable. Even though traumatic brain injuries have received more attention the past few years with so many soldiers in the Iraq war suffering them, work still needs to be done.
"It's a relatively new field, only 20 to 30 years old," Malec said. "We can now target problems a lot more specifically, but we've got a long way to go. This still tends to be an overlooked injury because there are no obvious signs -- a big scar or a missing limb." Irvan said if the head-and-neck restraints and SAFER barriers mandated by NASCAR after Dale Earnhardt suffered fatal head injuries in a 2001 crash had been in place earlier, he would still be racing. But the winner of 15 Cup races doesn't begrudge having his career cut short.
"I don't feel cheated. That's just the cards I was dealt," he said. "When my name is mentioned, people realize who I am. So when I speak about prevention, they listen."(Indianapolis Star)(10-11-2007)
- Irvan to appear at Carlisle All-GM Nationals: The All-GM Nationals will be the place to be in 2007! Held in Carlisle PA from June 22-24, 2007. Last year's show set high standards for the many fans, and this year will feature NASCAR great Ernie Irvan. Irvan is scheduled to be available throughout the weekend to greet fans, sign autographs and share some interesting insights of his storied racing career. More info at carsatcarlisle.com.(Todd Greene Agency PR)(6-22-2007)
- LAPS Walk 2007 to be held at Michigan International Speedway on Thursday, August 16, 2007. Join Ernie Irvan, NASCAR drivers and fans, military heroes, and TBI survivors as we hit the track at MIS for the greatest race of Ernie’s life – the race to help prevent traumatic brain injury (TBI) in America. This year LAPS Walk is broadening the scope of that race by featuring a theme of “Helmets and Heroes” to recognize the significance of TBI in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. See lapswalk.org for more info
- Irvan & Nadeau back on the track at MIS: Ernie Irvan, Jerry Nadeau and Rusty Wallace are no longer NASCAR drivers, but they still took a lap around Michigan International Speedway on Thursday. Irvan and Nadeau, who both retired from racing after suffering traumatic brain injuries, were joined by Wallace, current NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers Greg Biffle and Scott Wimmer and former Irvan crew chief Larry McReynolds for the Leadership and Awareness to Promote Safety (LAPS) Walk around the speedway's two-mile oval. More than 600 supporters raised money through a pledge drive to participate and help raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries. "MIS has bent over backwards to try and make it where we can have (the walk) closer to race day," said Irvan, who started the event last year in conjunction with the Brain Injury Association of Michigan. Irvan suffered a brain injury in [August] 1994 at MIS but came back and won the 1997 Miller 400. Irvan retired from racing in 1999 after suffering a second brain injury at MIS. Nadeau suffered a career-ending brain injury in 2003 [at Richmond im May]. Irvan said it is important to wear seat belts in cars and helmets when riding motorcycles, bicycles or skateboards. "It's simple," Irvan said. "The cure is out there. All it is is prevention." McReynolds missed last year's inaugural event but made sure to participate this year. He was Irvan's crew chief during the 1994 accident at MIS, which happened during a practice run. "The caution came out and the spotter came on the radio and said, 'Larry, it's us,' " McReynolds said. "The worst thing in the world that can happen to a crew chief is when you ask the driver is he OK and you hear nothing on that radio. The way I see it, we're working on a great cause here and we're doing it with, in my book, the greatest group of fans in the world -- the NASCAR fans." For more information, visit www.lapswalk.org or www.race2safety.com.(Detroit Free Press)(8-18-2006)
- LAPS Walk at Pocono raises over $30,000: On July 21st, 2006, Ernie Irvan and the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania (BIAPA) earned another victory in the fight to prevent Traumatic Brain Injury at the Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, PA. In a place known for speed and excitement, this victory lap was at a slightly slower pace as a group of over 300 supporters participated in Pocono's first Leadership and Awareness to Promote Safety (LAPS) Walk. Irvan suffered two Traumatic Brain Injuries while racing, the second of which prompted his early retirement and inspired him to start his non-profit organization Race2Safety. LAPS Walk was created as a partnership between Race2Safety and the BIAPA and well achieved its goal at Pocono Raceway by raising over $30,000 for the awareness and prevention of Traumatic Brain Injury.
"This was the greatest victory lap of my life," said Irvan immediately following the event. "Walking with over 300 people, all these NASCAR drivers, NASCAR President Mike Helton, and having all these sponsors - I am truly touched."
"The energy of this event was incredible," said Drew Nagele, President of the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania. "Having everyone together on the racetrack for a common purpose was significant and inspirational for the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania and all those with Traumatic Brain Injury."
From strollers to wheelchairs and every walk of life in between, people from all over Pennsylvania and neighboring states showed their support for the cause by raising at least $100 each for the exclusive opportunity to walk side-by-side with Irvan, NASCAR President Mike Helton, and NASCAR drivers such as Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, Martin Truex, Jr., Brian Vickers, Jeff Burton, Jeff Green, and Jeremy Mayfield - all to raise money for traumatic brain injury awareness and prevention.
"Ernie's been a friend for a long time, so I'm happy I can help him out in any way," NASCAR driver Jeff Green said to the Scranton Times Tribune. "This is a great cause, and one that definitely deserves more awareness and more funding. As a driver, you see talented drivers like Ernie who've had career-ending brain injuries and it makes you realize it could happen to any of us at any time. I don't take that for granted. Hopefully, the fans will see us trying to raise money for this cause, and they'll join in and offer what they can to help fund this charity."
The next LAPS Walk is scheduled to take place at the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) on Thursday, August 17th, 2006, the very racetrack where Irvan sustained his two Traumatic Brain Injuries. Registration is available online at www.lapswalk.org, or onsite at MIS starting at 8:00am on Thursday, August 17th, and is $100 per person or $250 per family. For more information and for the list of drivers participating at MIS please visit www.lapswalk.org.(7-28-2006)
- Sad News - Susan Kathleen Irvan Lewis: Mrs. Lewis, 51, of Cornelius, NC died Sunday, July 2, 2006 at her residence. She was born on August 25, 1954 to Vic Irvan and Jo Ann Graves Irvan in Carmel, CA. She loved designing and painting her own works of art. Her pleasures in life were boating on the lake, traveling, auto racing and spending time with children and grandchildren. She was a 1972 graduate of Salinas High School (California) and attended Monterey Penninsula College. She was a beloved and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and sister.
Survivors include her husband, Jack Lewis; son, Chad Dotseth of Concord; daughter, Staci Graulich of Concord; brother, Ernie Irvan and wife Kim of Mooresville; sisters, Sheryl Bradford and husband Jerry of Monterey, CA Tracy Smith and husband Kevin of Concord; grandchildren, Kenslie Dotseth, Zachary and Ella Kae Hagler and five nieces and nephews. She is preceded in death by her brother, David Irvan.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Lake Norman, 705 Griffith Street, Suite 203, Davidson, NC 28036.(Charlotte Observer)(7-5-2006)
- CMT's Greatest Comebacks: CMT today airs NASCAR's Greatest Combacks today [Mar 11th] at 4:00pm/et. This one-hour retrospective looks back at the greatest comebacks in NASCAR history. Moments include Ricky Rudd's win in Richmond after surviving one of the worst crashes in NASCAR history; the underdog team of Alan Kulwicki who closed the huge gap between Bill Elliott's for the 1992 win in Atlanta; and Richard Petty's triumph over controversy. New, exclusive interviews from NASCAR greats Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Richard Petty provide a rich and in-depth look at the comebacks that define one of the most watched and respected sports in the nation.... and Ernie's Irvan's comeback and wins.(CMT)(3-11-2006)
- Irvan, Nadeau and LaJoie take on the virtual world: A squadron of NASCAR drivers will take on the virtual racing world in the first-ever Race2Safety Showdown on January 24 at Quaker Steak & Lube, just up the road from Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, NC. The entire 40-car field was filled in less than 48 hours after it was announced. The 200-mile race will be broadcast live on the Internet at www.realracingonline.com.
Irvan is pumped: "It's gonna be a lot of fun. I know the online guys are serious so I've been practicing a lot. I've qualified on the pole at
Michigan, the track we're racing on, so I just need to work on my race set up." I'll be ready to take on all of them by race night." Irvan, Nadeau and LaJoie will compete side-by-side in racing simulators at the Concord, NC eatery and will be joined online by other NASCAR drivers including Boris Said, David Reutimann and Jeremy Mayfield. Nadeau's simulator will line up next to Irvan's. He has also been tuning up his skills. He's more than ready for the race. "Bring it on," he says, "This type of racing is very realistic with one important difference. You don't get hurt if you crash."
The Ultimate Reality Racer and Realracingonline host the inaugural event. All entrants will also qualify for a shot at racing stardom on
the Ultimate Reality Racer TV program, a four tier contest to find the next great racing star. The entire $100 dollar entry fee will go to
Irvan's fledgling foundation, Race2Safety. Irvan formed the organization to promote head injury awareness and prevention. "One person in the United States suffers a traumatic brain injury every 21 seconds," Irvan says. "I want to help people avoid what I have gone through."
Greg Davis, the Ultimate Reality Racer creator is excited about the event. "It gives me a chance to work with Ernie, one of my heroes. When he came back from his wreck at Michigan and just didn't drive around...but won again, he earned my respect forever. I can't think of a
better way to support him and announce the Ultimate Reality Racer program to the world." Irvan is now using his experience and has become a living advocate for those who have suffered head injuries. Race2Safety is focusing its awareness campaign on children and young adults who could face long term disabilities if they become victims of a serious head injury. The green flag drops on January 24 at 7:00pm/et. So log on or stop by Quaker Steak & Lube. Irvan and his band of brothers will definitely be taking names. Visit www.ultimaterealityracer.com.(1-10-2006)
- Ernie Irvan MIS Walk to feature Celebrities: NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan is only days away from the most important victory lap of his life - the inaugural Leadership and Awareness to Promote Safety (LAPS) Walk, set to take place next Wednesday, August 17 from 10:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) in Brooklyn, Michigan. Other NASCAR legends including Mark Martin, Greg Biffle, Bobby Labonte, Jerry Nadeau, Ned Jarrett, Benny Parsons and Bobby and Donny Allison will join Irvan and the hundreds of supporters who have registered to walk alongside them on the track at MIS.
Created as a partnership between the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and Irvan's non-profit organization, Race2Safety, the LAPS Walk aims to raise money for and awareness of brain injury and to bring traumatic brain injury to the forefront of consciousness in the minds of Americans. Irvan suffered two traumatic brain injuries at MIS during his racing career, the second of which prompted his early retirement. "Having this inaugural event at MIS is a testimony to those living with brain injuries", said Irvan. "I am truly appreciative of the support everyone has shown - especially those who have registered to walk and the sponsors who have joined me in this mission." Lifetime Products will donate $1 dollar to the cause in the name of each individual who visits their website, www.tailgateofalifetime.com, and registers their name. More info on my Racing Charity Page.(8-11-2005)
- Irvan's Mission Gains Momentum: One prominent NASCAR team's drivers will be doing more than running laps around the New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon July 17 as part of the New England 300; they'll be helping to promote the August 17 LAPS Walk, an inaugural event at Michigan International Speedway (MIS) that will help NASCAR legend Ernie Irvan and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan combat the silent national epidemic of traumatic brain injury. Team MB2 Motorsports (with affiliate teams MBV and MBSutton) has agreed to carry the LAPS Walk logo underneath the "B" Pillar of each of the cars (driver side panel) during NASCAR races leading up to and including the GFS Marketplace 400 at MIS on August 21, 2005.
Teammates Joe Nemechek, who drives #01, a Chevrolet (sponsored by U.S. Army) and Scott Riggs, driving #10, also a Chevrolet (sponsored by Valvoline) feature the logo on their cars since the race at New Hampshire. The third team member, Boris Said, driving #36, again a Chevrolet (sponsored by CENTRIX Financial), will join Nemechek and Riggs in featuring the LAPS Walk logo when he joins the field in the Allstate 400 at the Brickyard. All three will be drawing attention to the LAPS (Leadership and Promotion of Safety) event, to be held the Wednesday of GFS 400 race week at MIS.
Aside from Ernie Irvan's history with the team, there's yet another link to the issue of brain injury awareness -- former #01 driver Jerry Nadeau was sidelined with a brain injury accident in 2003; Joe Nemechek is his replacement. Ernie Irvan's involvement in the cause was sparked by his own experience, when he crashed at MIS (in 1994). Initially not expected to recover from his injuries, he not only did so, but went on to race again [an won 3 more races]. A second injury at MIS (five years to the day of the first accident) prompted his retirement. "I'm personally very grateful to MB2 Motorsports for taking this leadership position with us in bringing positive attention to the LAPS Walk and our Race2Safety Foundation," said Irvan. "The funds we will be able to raise, including those going to support the valuable work of the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, will go a long way toward reducing the incidence and severity of brain injury."
The LAPS Walk is a joint effort between Ernie Irvan's Race2Safety Foundation and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan that will become an annual event to raise awareness for traumatic brain injury. For a minimum $100 registration fee, participants can walk the racetrack with Ernie and other current and former NASCAR drivers by registering online at www.lapswalk.org or by calling 1-888-LAP-4-R2S (527-4727).
- Ernie's son wins races: Jared Irvan’s first Quarter Midget win came on Saturday, 4/9/05, at his home track, the North Carolina Quarter Midget Association Speedway. This was Jared’s second race at the track and his first Jr. Novice Cup Race. After starting 5th, Jared passed for the lead on the last lap!
AND Jared won the Jr. Novice Main at the NC Quarter Midget Speedway on Saturday, 5/7/05. He started second, moved to first immediately, and retained the lead for the entire race.(irvan.com)(6-14-2005)
- What is up with Irvan? asked of Jeff Hammond at FoxSports.com: "As far as Ernie Irvan is concerned, we do see him at the track from time to time. He tries to help out several drivers in the ARCA Series. He's tried to put some deals together for them and make things happen. Kevin Conway has been one of the drivers that he's taken under his wing. Conway shows up from time to time for Busch [#03 Team] and Craftsman Truck races. Ernie's doing well. He still loves racing and wishes he could be more involved. It's good to see him still hanging around the sport.(FoxSports), Irvan has also started an organization, Race2Safety, working head protection equipment.(3-9-2005)
- So What is Ernie Irvan up to? Irvan helped form Race 2 Safety which plans to make a positive difference in the lives of men, women and children across America by informing and educating them about the latest transportation-related head protection equipment and technologies and actively promoting the everyday use of such equipment. Race 2 Safety works closely with safety equipment manufacturers, head injury prevention and treatment associations, as well as state and federal transportation safety organizations to help dramatically reduce the number of transportation-related traumatic brain injuries that occur every year. See more at race2safety.com.(12-8-2004)
The car Ernie won his only ARCA start in, the #18 Pontiac
Ernie signing autograph's at Kentucky Speedway on May 12th, 2001
he won a race in an exhibition race
(image from the Cincinnati Enquirer
- ANNOUNCEMENT: the Ernie Irvan Fan Club has temporarily suspended operation, see the statement from Ernie at the Ernie Irvan Site, it'll answer questions about refunds and the future(3-22-2001)
Ernie talks on ESPN's Outside the Lines, dicussing NASCAR Saftey
images from NASCAR - thanks
- Irvan's First Cup Car: as far as I know www.Irvan.com and the Ernie Irvan Fan Club is still taking orders for the #56 1987 Dale Earnhardt Sponsored Chevrolet ran at Richmond and Charlotte. All orders placed through the web site and the Fan Club will be autographed. This will be for a limited time only. For more info or to order see the Irvan.com site(5-3/9-21-2000)
here are two images of the two cars available:
You can get information on Ernie's fan club and the auctions at www.irvan.com(3-22-2000)
Ernie ran this car in his first ever Winston Cup start
- Moved Ernie's retirement announcement and my thoughts to it's own page: Retirement Announcement and Jayski's Thoughts(9-11-1999)
- The Crispy Scheme: the car Ernie ran at Daytona in the Pepsi 400, Thanks to Steve & Bobbi Gudac for the image. The car was also run at Talladega with Jerry Nadeau driving
- The Pedigree Car: the car Ernie drove at Michigan in June from Kenneth A. Nagel(see below)
NOTE: Ernie retired at Darlington on Sept 3, 1999, Jerry Nadeau took over for the remainder of 1999
FINAL WINSTON CUP POINTS STANDING
||TOP 5||TOP 10||WINNINGS
includes winnings from The Bud Shootout and The Winston
*Retired on Sept 3rd, 1999
ERNIE'S CAREER WINSTON CUP STATS
||TOP 5||TOP 10||WINNINGS
Final Career Averages
Final 1999 Averages