IRWIN RETURNS TO A 'FAMILIAR PLACE' THIS WEEKEND PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Kenny Irwin, Raybestos Rookie of the Year points leader, will be pulling double duty this weekend. In addition to driving the Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus on Sunday, he will ...
IRWIN RETURNS TO A 'FAMILIAR PLACE' THIS WEEKEND
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Kenny Irwin, Raybestos Rookie of the Year points leader, will be pulling double duty this weekend. In addition to driving the Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus on Sunday, he will compete Saturday in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.
Irwin and the entire Robert Yates Racing team are energized coming off last weekend's superspeedway event where Irwin put the Texaco/Havoline Ford up front and led the race. It looked as though he would be among the contenders for the win until a cut tire and an accident shortened the day.
Unlike the unfamiliarity the 29-year-old rookie normally feels upon entering some of the tracks on the circuit, this one is an exception. He is familiar with Phoenix because he has competed here in four different divisions: the USAC Silver Crown Series, USAC National Midget Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and during his limited schedule in '97 in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
Irwin qualified 11th for the Winston Cup race in 1997 and scored an impressive fourth-place finish in the truck race. He has also won a race at Phoenix on February 6, 1994 while competing in the USAC Silver Crown Series.
"I like the layout at Phoenix," said Irwin. "I've always run pretty good here. The guys have been working so hard and we were so close to a top-five last weekend, hopefully we can get one this weekend."
Irwin earned the Cintas Rookie of the Year honors in 1997 while competing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and is the current points leader for the '98 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series.
Cintas is the primary sponsor on Irwin's truck entry this weekend. Texaco/ Havoline, Irwin's primary Winston Cup sponsor, will be an associate sponsor on the truck. Both machines will have Robert Yates power plants.