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Irvan Hurt Following Accident

October 11, 1998

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) _ Ernie Irvan was airlifted to a hospital following an 11-car crash in Sunday’s Winston 500.

Ryan Pemberton, Irvan’s crew chief, said the 39-year-old driver was talking and recognized his wife before he was transported by helicopter to Carraway Methodist Medical Center in Birmingham, about 40 miles away.

Irvan was coming out of Turn 1 on lap 136 when Sterling Marlin tapped the rear of his Pontiac. Irvan spun out, hit the wall, then was broadsided on the passenger side of his car by Dick Trickle.

A CAT Scan was negative and no broken bones were found, but Irvan was being kept overnight for observation.

Several other cars tangled as they tried to avoid Irvan’s car.

Mark Martin, second in the Winston Cup points standings, wasn’t able to clear through the wreckage and hit Irvan as he slid down the race track.

Martin, who was on the lead lap, had to take his car behind the wall but later returned to the race. He finished 34th.

Irvan was nearly killed in August 1994 during a crash in practice at Michigan Speedway. He sustained severe head injuries and spent several days in a coma. He returned to racing in October 1995.

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