Ernie Irvan Looks Back on His Career, Returns to a Sport He Love - New York News

Ernie Irvan Looks Back on His Career, Returns to a Sport He Loves

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    Friday, July 11 2014 10:43 PM EDT2014-07-12 02:43:31 GMT
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Concord, NC - Ernie Irvan is the winner of 15 Sprint Cup races, including the 1991 Daytona 500. Despite his success as a driver, he is most likely remembered for his 1995 comeback following a near fatal accident the year before at Michigan International Speedway.

"It was one of the sickest feelings in the world. I said there is no way this could be happening to this race team again," said Larry McReynolds, Irvan's former crew chief.

Irvan joined the No. 28 Robert Yates Racing team in the fall of 1993, following the death of driver Davey Allison. He remained sidelined for over a year as he recovered from a life threatening brain injury sustained in the crash.

"The thing that always comes back to mind was the day I came back at North Wilkesboro and just remembering the crowd just going crazy," said Ernie Irvan. "Robert Yates told me from day one, if you are able to drive a race car, I have a race car for you to drive. And if it wasn't for that, if it wasn't for somebody taking the belief in me, I wouldn't have been able to do it."

He won three races following his recovery, but two more accidents in 1999 forced his retirement."Because of being able to race with my son and also being able to work with the horses with my daughter," Ernie Irvan said. "That's the reason that I retired, to be able to share their life, to be able to help my wife and help my kids."

Now, the California native can still be found at the track, but this time it is as an owner, crew chief, father and anything other title that fits for his son Jared’s team in the Pro All Star Series (PASS).

Jared Irvan is finding success in his racing career, and Ernie's wife, Kim, says this is a positive feature in Irvan's life.

"It's the happiest I've seen Ernie, since he retired," she said. "I guess I always laugh and kid that he's living through Jared."
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