Irwin to drive Jarrett's NASCAR Busch Series ride By Shawn A. Akers NASCAR Online CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 11, 1998) Kenny Irwin, last year's NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and a teammate to Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing, will get...
Irwin to drive Jarrett's NASCAR Busch Series ride By Shawn A. Akers NASCAR Online
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 11, 1998) Kenny Irwin, last year's NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year and a teammate to Dale Jarrett at Robert Yates Racing, will get behind the wheel of Jarrett's NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division car for 11 races in 1999, Irwin said Monday.
The driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford for Yates will make his first career NASCAR Busch Series start this season, taking over on a limited basis for Jarrett, who has said that he will not drive in that division in 1999.
Irwin said he did not know many details about the deal, only that Green Bay Packers' quarterback Brett Favre is a part-owner of the team.
"Actually, he hasn't told me a whole lot about it except that we're going to run about 11 races and some of the tracks we're going to run on," Irwin said. "As far as a crew chief or sponsorship, I don't know.
"Personally for me, though, it's going to get me a little bit more seat time and I think it's going to be a tremendous boost for my Winston Cup effort. Anything that can help me out there, I'm all for it."
Irwin said that he would make NASCAR Busch Series starts for DAJ Racing at Texas Motor Speedway in April and at both races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in May and October. He did not indicate the other tracks that he would run.
Favre, who led the Packers to a Super Bowl victory in January of 1997, joins a list of athletes in other sports who have made their way into the NASCAR arena. Dan Marino, quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, is part-owner of the No. 13 Ford team in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series along with Bill Elliott, but the status of that team for this season is still up in the air.
Former NFL running back Joe Washington and NBA Hall of Famer Julius Irving are part-owners in Washington-Irving Motorsports, which fields an entry in the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division. Several baseball players, including St. Louis slugger Mark McGwire, are part owners in Bobby Hillin's NASCAR Busch Series team.
Jarrett made 12 starts in the NASCAR Busch Series last season, including a best finish of third in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway in August. Jarrett's son, Jason, made 11 starts for DAJ Racing this past season, with a best finish of 16th in the Galaxy Foods 350 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Jason Jarrett, however, has since moved on to drive for BACE Motorsports next season.