The Irvans: NASCAR's Newest Dynasty - myfoxcarolinas.com

The Irvans: NASCAR's Newest Dynasty

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Jared Irvan is a 16-year-old racer who is also the son of a NASCAR legend.

His dad, Ernie Irvan, is the 1991 Daytona 500 champion and the winner of an additional 14 Sprint Cup races. Now, Ernie is focused on helping his son excel.

"It's exciting just to be able to be a part of his career,” said Ernie. “My dad was part of my career, you know, being able to be there and help me."

Jared began racing at 4-years-old, he enjoyed it and decided to follow in his father’s footsteps.

"A lot of people tell me I drive a lot different than [Ernie],” said Jared. “Which sometimes might be a good thing, sometimes might be a bad thing."

Jared spends his down time at the race shop trying to learn as much as he can about the car.

“That way if something breaks or you get a feeling in the car, you know what's making that feeling," he said.

Jared was born shortly before his dad’s retirement in 1999, which means he does not really remember Ernie’s career as a driver.

"I think he's on some ESPN Classic videos,” said Jared.

Despite not spending a lot of time around the Sprint Cup garage during the peak of his dad’s career, Jared races the familiar No. 28. Occasionally, Jared is also the beneficiary of advice from the former driver of the famous number.

"All the connections that he has from past racing,” said Jared, “and that helps a lot compared to someone who doesn't have a Dad that used to race."

Ernie added, "I may throw something out there, he may not want to listen, but he's got it in his mind. Nobody really wants to say, "Oh, well, that's what dad says that's what I'm going to do.” They want to do it because of their own experience and that's what Jared has been able to do."

The focus is squarely set on Jared’s success as a driver.

"If we can win a couple of races,” said Ernie. “That's important. Keep the sponsor happy with Auramist and then, you know, hopefully be able to take it to the next level."

Now, father and son work on the Pro All Star Series car and sometimes participate in autograph sessions together.

"A lot of people come out that don't usually come out, and they tell stories about how he used to race,” said Jared. “It's really cool."

Ernie and Jared Irvan are slated to sign autographs at Coca-Cola Speed Street in Uptown Charlotte, Friday, May 23 at 7 p.m.
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