Daytona Ernie Irva Starts Race

Irvan to start Pepsi 400 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 17, 1998) Ernie Irvan, who has spent the balance of two days on the sidelines at Daytona International Speedway while Ricky Craven did most of the work in practicing and qualifying the No. 36...

Irvan to start Pepsi 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 17, 1998) Ernie Irvan, who has spent the balance of two days on the sidelines at Daytona International Speedway while Ricky Craven did most of the work in practicing and qualifying the No. 36 Wild Berry Skittles Pontiac for Saturday night's Pepsi 400, will start the race, he said Saturday afternoon.

Irvan, who was battered in a wild crash in last weekend's Winston 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, Thursday morning had decided to sit until he felt capable of undergoing the rigors of driving a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car around the 2.5-mile trioval. Craven did all the driving that day, including a Bud Pole Qualifying run that did not get the car into the field in the first round.

Irvan practiced for 13 laps in "Happy Hour" on Friday night and Saturday pronounced himself capable of starting the 160-lap, 400-mile race. The team was forced to take a provisional starting spot and will line up 39th, so dropping to the rear after changing drivers will not be much of a penalty.

"I felt fine during Happy Hour," Irvan said, "but I'm not sure that my body is ready for the bouncing and beating of 400 miles. I might get out at the first caution if that is the best scenario for myself and the Skittles team."

Irvan, 39, is currently 14th in the series point standings. He has three Bud Poles, 10 top-10 finishes and $1,426,566 in season winnings.

Craven, 32, has eight series starts in 1998 after taking off 12 races in mid-season while recovering from injuries. His last start came in the Bud at The Glen at Watkins Glen International on Aug. 9, when he was fired from his ride at Hendrick Motorsports. Craven has one Bud Pole, one top-10 finish and $422,200 in season winnings.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ernie Irvan , Ricky Craven
Teams Hendrick Motorsports