New Hampshire crash claims Irwin's life By Dave Rodman LOUDON, N.H. (July 7, 2000) Kenny Irwin, a Rookie of the Year in two different NASCAR divisions, was fatally injured Friday in the opening moments of the initial NASCAR Winston Cup Series...
New Hampshire crash claims Irwin's life
By Dave Rodman
LOUDON, N.H. (July 7, 2000) Kenny Irwin, a Rookie of the Year in two different NASCAR divisions, was fatally injured Friday in the opening moments of the initial NASCAR Winston Cup Series practice for Sunday's thatlook.com 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
The accident in turn three of the 1.05-mile flat speedway was similar to the May 12 crash in a NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division practice session that fatally injured 19-year-old Adam Petty.
"We are deeply saddened at today's passing of Kenny Irwin," NASCAR president Bill France said. "On behalf of all of us at NASCAR and the entire NASCAR community, our deepest sympathies, all our thoughts and prayers are with Kenny's family, friends and everyone at Team SABCO. Kenny was a fine competitor and will be missed very much by the entire NASCAR community."
Irwin, 30, of Indianapolis, crashed his No. 42 BellSouth Chevrolet at about 11:23 a.m. ET, less than 10 minutes into the opening practice session for Sunday's 18th event of the 34-race season.
Irwin struck the wall near the third turn and his Team SABCO-owned Monte Carlo came to rest upside down between turns three and four near the outside wall. Emergency crews extricated Irwin from the car and moved him by ambulance to the infield care center. Irwin was tended to at the facility for more than 30 minutes before he was transported to Concord Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to "multiple injuries."
Irwin raced sports cars early in his career before gravitating to USAC open-wheel competition, where he drove in Sprint, Midget and Coors Light Silver Bullet Series events for several years.
He made his debut in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series near the end of the 1996 season and ran a full campaign in 1997 for Jim Herrick's Liberty Racing team. He won two races that year, in March at Homestead-Miami Speedway and in June at Texas Motor Speedway. He was named the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Rookie of the Year.
He made his NASCAR Winston Cup Series debut at Richmond International Raceway in September 1997 for team owner Robert Yates. Irwin drove the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford for Yates in 1998 and '99, winning the Raybestos Rookie of the Year Award in his first season.
Irwin moved to Team SABCO, owned by Felix Sabates, at the beginning of the NASCAR 2000 season. He was 28th in NASCAR Winston Cup Series points with one top-5 finish.
Team SABCO withdrew its entry for the thatlook.com 300.