Ernie Irvan slipped back into his race car for the first time since a horrifying crash left his career and future in doubt.
Irvan breezed around Darlington Raceway setting an unofficial course record of 30.26 seconds in his Busch Grand National car.
“I was just trying to find out if I can run again. I don’t think I forgot anything,” said Irvan, who still wears a patch on his damaged left eye.
Irvan, who signed on to Yates’ Texaco-Havoline Ford team in 1993, was shaky at first, sliding loosely through the turns.
He quickly found his way on Darlington’s quirky 1.366-mile oval, however, and ran a rock-solid second four-lap set that produced a turn of 162.510 mph in his Thunderbird.
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