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erniestanding.jpg - 7968 BytesNAME: Ernie Irvan
BORN: Jan. 13, 1959
BIRTHPLACE: Salinas, CA
RESIDENCE: Mooresville, NC
HEIGHT: 5'9"
WEIGHT: 175 lbs
HAIR: Black
EYES: Brown
WIFE: Kim Baker (married Nov. 21, 1992)
CHILDREN: Jordan Lea (Daughter) Jared Lawrence(Son)


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After the death of Davey Allison in a helicopter accident, he worked free of his contract to take over Robert Yates' (RYR) Texaco/Havoline Ford, starting with the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington, SC (September). He melded quickly with new mates, scored five front row starting berths, including two poles and two victories in nine remaining races. He dedicated his emotional Martinsville (September) victory to Allison and ran away with the Charlotte (October) race, leading all but six laps. He ranked ninth upon his departure from Morgan-McClure, climbed to 6th in the final standings with RYR
He was the dominant contender for the NASCAR Winston Cup championship through the first twenty events of 1994. He entered the GM Goodwrench Dealer 400 at Michigan (August). He matched perennial title-favorite Earnhardt win-for-win (three a piece) and led in top five finishes and winnings and trailed by only 27 points after pacing the standings for most of the season.
In a frightening instant during an early morning Saturday practice session at Michigan, his fight for the title turned into a fight for his life. According to drivers running with him, a right front tire deflated and sent his car into the Turn Two wall at over 170 mph. Despite critical brain and lung injuries that left him with only a 10 percent chance of survival, he clung to life for the first two days, then rallied to begin his long road to recovery.
Less than two months later, in the most dramatic moment of the gala NASCAR awards banquet in new York, he walked onstage at the Waldorf Astoria's grand ballroom to receive the True Value Hard Charger Award. Even though he had missed 11 races due to injury, he still had raced among the top five for more miles than any driver.
1996 Just as his owner, teammates, and sponsor had promised, he returned to the 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford supported by exactly the same crew on duty the day he was hurt. He launched his comeback season by earning a front row berth for the season. He opened the Daytona 500 beside stablemate Jarett and followed with a dramatic victory in the 125 mile qualifying race. In the campaign, he captured the pole position for the year's fastest race at Talladega (April) then scored dramatic victories at Loudon (July) and Richmond (September). On his way to a final spot among Winston Cup's elite top 10, he collected 12 top five and 16 top 10 finishes, led 15 of the 31 events, and earned a career best of $1,670,113.
In 230 career starts, he has earned 95 top 10 and 63 top five finishes en route to 14 career victories and more than $7 million in career earnings. He has flashed to 28 front row starts, including 17 pole positions. He is regarded as one of Winston Cups hardest chargers.

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