Irwin Returns To Dirt Track Roots

MOORESVILLE, N.C. -- Team SABCO driver Kenny Irwin pulled double duty on the race track Thursday evening. After NASCAR Winston Cup twilight practice for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, Irwin ran across the street to compete on The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Indianapolis, Ind.-native climbed behind the wheel of a brand-new 600 Racing Thunder Roadster Car to participate in an exhibition as part of the World of Outlaws sprint car event.

"There's no other way to describe that race except great," Irwin said. "I got my start in open-wheel cars and I'd forgotten how much fun they were. They're so different and so much lighter than Winston Cup cars - quite a change. My future is in Winston Cup but it's cool to climb back into an open-wheel car again, and I think the fans out there loved it."

Competing against Irwin were Dave Blaney, Kenny Schrader and Tony Stewart. The four NASCAR Winston Cup drivers ran the short event prior to the World of Outlaws race.

"As competitive as Winston Cup drivers are, you'd think one of us would've had to be called 'the winner.'" Irwin said. "But we were just out there having a good time. You couldn't really tell who won because everyone was spinning and turning all over, trying to catch back up to the others."

Irwin's racing career formally started in the open wheel ranks of the United States Auto Club (USAC) Skoal Midget Series. He posted eight victories, 20 runner-up finishes, 59 top-five and 87 top-10 finishes in five seasons.

The Charlotte, N.C.-resident also logged seven wins in the Stoops/Freightliner Sprint Car Series, as well as Rookie of the Year honors in 1993. Irwin captured another Rookie of the Year title the following season in USAC's Silver Crown Series and finished second in the overall standings in 1995.

Related Topics:

NASCAR Sprint Cup, 2000, Kenny Irwin

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