Jared Irvan started racing when he was five in quarter midgets. His career began just one year before his father Ernie Irvan’s came to an end.
While Jared doesn’t remember much of his father’s racing days, the 17-year-old driver is carrying the torch by getting behind the wheel of the No. 28 machine. Even at the Legends Car level, Irvan is constantly pulling from his father to succeed in the racing world.
“I’ve learned so much from him over the years,” Jared said of his father. “I still have a lot I can take from his experience to use on and off the track. I know what the sport did for my dad and hope I can keep finding success.”
At the start of the season, Irvan tried his hand in the K&N Pro Series that ended in disaster. His stock car had a tire go down, shooting him into a wall and ending his day on Lap 69 of 151 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.
Jared hopes to get another chance to take that next step, but is now working on excelling in the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway to gain sponsors. Currently sitting at second in points in the Pro Legends Car rankings, Irvan has a shot at winning a championship.
Though no one has jumped on board for a K&N car yet, Ernie Irvan believes his son has what it takes to keep a full-time ride.
“Because of funding, it’s really hard for him to get to higher levels,” Ernie said. “He’s got a lot of talent and all the maturity to get to any level he wants. I think he can go a long way, he just needs the right backing. And I’m not just saying that as a dad. I’ve seen it.”
Even with a well-known dad like Ernie Irvan, Jared has struggled to find a primary sponsor for the PASS or CARS Tour to prove himself. One of the best ways to get a young driver’s name out there is being seen on the track by sponsors.
With the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout being broadcast on MAVTV and live streamed on PRN, the competition provides a great opportunity for Irvan to succeed.
“The biggest reason for Jared being out here is because he gets name recognition,” Ernie said. “You just never know who that person is that might happen to turn to MAVTV and see the No. 28 drive into Victory Lane. It takes funding to get further in this sport, and that’s how you get it.”
On the PASS Tour, Jared has compiled four top fives and 10 top-10 finishes in 13 races this season. The only blemish in 2015 was the fact that he didn’t have a win. Two weeks ago, Irvan got just that and shot his name up in the Pro Legends Car rankings.
Now that Irvan has reached his goal of winning in the Summer Shootout, his sights are set on a loftier goal. He didn’t hesitate when discussing how he hopes to end the summer.
“Getting to K&N is the goal at some point … so winning the championship here would push us one step closer,” Jared said. “The goal is to win every time we hit the track and get the title. It’s looking decent right now, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Irvan’s next opportunity to get to Victory Lane will be on Tuesday night when he returns to Charlotte for the next round of the Summer Shootout. Just three rounds remain in the series, so the pressure is on for Irvan and every other driver to win a title.
Fans who want to watch Irvan and the rest of the Legends Car series can head out to CMS on Tuesday nights. Tickets are just $8.00 with children under 13 years old getting in for free. The gates open at 5 p.m. ET with the Pro Series serving as the last event of the night.
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