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
Will Power
 
2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Schedule Unveiled
INDYCAR announced the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series schedule today featuring 17 race events, two new race venues and a total of six ABC and 13 NBCSN event broadcasts. The diverse calendar of events – which features six ovals, six road courses and four temporary street circuits – includes a total of 14 markets making a return to the calendar from 2014.
Read More
A.J. Foyt Racing
 
Hawksworth Joins A.J. Foyt Racing For 2015
It has been Larry Foyt’s longtime goal to expand A.J. Foyt Racing’s Verizon IndyCar Series presence to two full-time entries, and with impeccable timing primary sponsor ABC Supply Co. Inc. has stepped up to make it a reality.
Read More
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
 
Monday Racing Roundup: Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wins at Martinsville
Dale Earnhardt Jr. can’t win the 2014 Sprint Cup title, but can still grab special race victories.
Read More
Cal Crutchlow
 
MotoGP Unveils 2015 Entry List
The provisional entry list for the premier class for 2015 has been released today and the MotoGP grid will have a distinctly different look about it next year.
Read More
Kurt Busch and Ryan Hunter-Reay
 
Hunter-Reay and Busch Team Up Again
Ryan Hunter-Reay and Kurt Busch will be teammates again Dec. 13-14 when they will represent the USA in the Race of Champions' Nations Cup at the Bushy Park Circuit in Barbados.
Read More
Items 1 - 5 of 1,766
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
Big hair, acid wash jeans and @ArieLuyendyk's mullet. The Look of the 500 in the 1980s: http://t.co/BPGmZ54DqU http://t.co/y1H1RPZCfh
about 9 hours ago