Despite a career beset by injuries, what “Swervin’ Irvan” accomplished in 12 Cup Series seasons earned him a place on NASCAR’s 1998 list of its 50 Greatest Drivers. His 15 victories, 22 poles and 124 Top 10s in 313 starts only begin to tell the story. The former karter missed becoming 1988 NASCAR Rookie of the Year by the narrowest margin ever. His DAYTONA 500 victory came the same year (1991) as his highest championship placing (5th), but his true potential was shown in 1993 when he was hired to replace late friend Davey Allison at Robert Yates Racing with nine races to go. In that span, Irvan scored two wins, a second and a third, then was neck-and-neck with Dale Earnhardt 20 races into 1994 when a catastrophic Michigan accident left him with only a 10% chance of survival. Amazingly, Irvan was back in Cup late the following year and won several more races the year after. Serious injuries in 1998 and 1999 prompted his retirement. Later he started a foundation for head injury awareness.
Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)