News & Multimedia

Where Are They Now? Ernie Irvan

Note: This is the second of a series about drivers who competed in the early years of the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard who no longer compete regularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

He came from the West Coast to Charlotte, N.C., with just the money in his pocket and little else.

But Ernie Irvan struggled up the ladder to make the NASCAR Cup series ranks and make a name for himself before two serious accidents at Michigan forced his retirement at age 40.

The first one, in 1994, was the most serious. His injuries were life-threatening. The second, in 1999, was less devastating but enough because both involved head injuries, which are being scrutinized today by every sport from racing to the NFL. These came in the prime of his career after winning the Daytona 500 in 1991.

“I feel fine,” Irvan said recently from his Charlotte-area home. “I can go out and do anything I want to do. I would love to race, but that’s past. My son, Jared (14), is racing a Ford Focus on a quarter-mile. He’s leading the points this year and won the championship last year.”

Irvan made his mark on the Brickyard 400. He finished second to Dale Jarrett in 1996 and won the pole in 1997 and 1998 among his five Brickyard starts.

“I had every vision in the world of winning the race (in ‘96), and I was in the lead but got beat by DJ,” said Irvan, 53. “It’s an unbelievable racetrack. With everything that’s happened, everything I’ve known about the history, I feel very fortunate to have run what we call the Brickyard.”

In all, Irvan led four of the five races he ran at Indy for 114 laps and recorded three top-10 finishes.

And now, the second generation of Irvans is headed up the ladder on the long road to Indy.
 

Show More Show Less
Now Viewing
Where Are They Now? Ernie Irvan
 
Where Are They Now? Ernie Irvan
This is the second of a series about drivers who competed in the early years of the Crown Royal Presents the “Your Hero’s Name Here” 400 at the Brickyard who no longer compete regularly in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Read More
Related Media
Nicky Hayden
 
Hayden Looks Forward To Enjoying Riding Again in 2015
The American DRIVE M7 Aspar rider is one of the most experienced men in MotoGP and a throwback to the old-school hard men that inspired him.
Read More
Jack Miller
 
Miller, Vinales Among New Faces Set To Join MotoGP in 2015
Vinales and Miller will be on the grid at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 9, 2015, for the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, battling defending race champion and two-time defending World Champion Marc Marquez, of the Repsol Honda team.
Read More
CICOA at IMS
 
Carpenter Helps Celebrate CICOA Meals & More Program's 18 Millionth Meal
The CICOA Meals & More program works to combat that, providing 2,000 meals every weekday in clients’ homes and at 27 Central Indiana meal sites. And on Wednesday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, CICOA served its 18 millionth meal to a senior guest.
Read More
Bloomington Gold
 
Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA Coming To IMS in June 2015
Bloomington Gold Corvettes USA, “The Granddaddy of Corvette Shows,” will make its inaugural appearance at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway from June 25-27, 2015.
Read More
Kevin Harvick
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Harvick Wins at Phoenix
Harvick won for the third straight race and sixth time overall on the 1-mile oval at Phoenix International Raceway, leading 264 of 312 laps to secure the only automatic transfer spot of the Eliminator round.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 477
Reserve one of our hospitality suites for your next event!
To start planning your event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please fill out our Information Request Form or contact Phil Sparks at (317) 492-6463 or email at psparks@brickyard.com.
Latest Tweets
It was up to Forrest “Bud” Tucker to fix the SAFER barrier during the red flag at the 2014 #Indy500. His story: http://t.co/Gm6NscAduC
about 2 hours ago