Formula One
 Saturday, July 8
Remembering Kenny Irwin

Winston Cup lost another young star Friday when Kenny Irwin was killed during practice for the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Like the auto racing world, users were shocked by the news of Irwin's death. Here are some of their memories of Irwin and his all-to-short career:

"We enjoyed watching Kenny compete as a high school athlete. He was a determined competitor who went full out. We've been cheering for him since he raced trucks and then joined the NASCAR circuit. It is a shock and we feel a true loss as the reality of his loss is setting in."

Joe & Julie,
Indianpolis, Ind.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the Irwin family in their time of grief. I was very fortunate to have met Kenny in Daytona this year, on my and my twin sister's birthday. He told us "Happy Birthday" and then he graciously posed for a picture and was delighted to have a picture taken with twins. I was thankful for getting his autograph and spending those five minutes with him. I will never forget that moment. I was wearing a No. 28 Kenny Irwin/ No. 88 Dale Jarrett shirt and will still wear it proudly."

Lake Worth, Fla.

"I remember seeing him one morning eating breakfast in the Texaco Havoline tent in Phoenix. After he finished, he was very willing to sign my husband's hat. He was a nice young man we will always remember."

Nancy & Mitch Minshall,
Gallup, N.M.

"My heart goes out the Irwin family. I've been a Kenny Irwin fan for years and to lose him today brings great sadness to my heart. The first NASCAR race I ever attend was in Texas were Kenny had his first pole in the Winston Cup Series -- I was so excited watching him lead the race that I could not sit down. Race day will not be the same without him."

Carol R.,
Knoxville, Tenn.

"To the Team SABCO and Irwin family I would like to offer my thoughts and prayers to you in this tough time. I am a Bellsouth employee and had the privilege of meeting Kenny at Bristol and at Talladega. I sat beside Kenny's mom at Bristol and could tell how proud she was and how much she cared for Kenny. You won't meet a nicer or better guy as Kenny Irwin. I just wanted to say I am sorry for your loss."

Brad Beaty,
Nashville, Tenn.

"My memories of Kenny Irwin? About as many as Adam Petty, not nearly enough! Both of these fine young racers where taken away from us way too early. When a sad and tragic event such as this takes place, it unfortunately brings out the reality of the dangers of this great sport. God bless the Irwin family."

Scott Acker,
Clearwater, Fla.

"I grew up in Indiana. For many years, my father and I went to Winchester Speedway to watch the sprint car races. We got so much joy from watching Kenny race. We were so happy when he moved into NASCAR, for we felt he was very deserving. I always felt that Kenny was so brave and by far the best driver I ever saw race sprint cars. It will not be the same watching races without Kenny being there. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family."

Christine Ramsey,
New York, N.Y.

"I was at Watkins Glen about 2 or 3 years ago for a race. After practice one day Kenny comes over to the fence to talk to the fans, sign some autographs, and just talk. I love getting autographs, but had nothing to get signed. Well, I'm still holding my Watkins Glen plastic cup. I say, 'Kenny, can you sign this?' His reply, 'Holy man, is it full!?' I said, 'No,' and tossed it over the fence. Kenny tries to toss it back, carefully, like 2 or 3 times. Each time the cup falls to the ground and has to bend down to pick it up. Finally, he sends it about 15 feet in the air. One of the onlookers, not paying attention, gets popped in the head. We all get a chuckle over it, and Kenny calls him over, signs an item for him too. NASCAR lost a good guy today!"

John Griffin,
Elkland, Pa.

"Kenny was a nice person. I got to to meet him three times and every time I met him he always greeted me with a smile, and was really nice to his fans. I met him the last time at Speedstreet this past May. I guess God needed another nice young person."

Scotty Powell,
Morganton, N.C.

"We have lost a wonderful, talented young man today. He will be missed by many of the friends and fans here in Indianapolis that watched him develop into a great driver. I can't recall how many times I have witnessed Kenny driving splendid races at IRP in midgets and go karts at the Velodrome. He was always exciting. God Speed."

Linda Conti,
Pitttsboro, Ind.

"I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Irwin at Talladega two years ago. He was really pleasant and one of the few drivers that had time to sign and speak with you. The Winston Cup circuit will really miss a guy like this. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and race team."

Stephen Moseley,
Montgomery, Ala.

"Kenny was a talented and fine driver. I'll cherish the memories of watching him run around the track, especially those days where he and Tony Stewart battled it out. He gave Stewart fits! My heart goes out to his family and crew members. Kenny, now that you made it to the ultimate winner's circle, say 'Hello' to Adam and the rest of the gool 'ol boys."

John Campbell,
College Station, Texas

"My deepest heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Irwin family -- such a tragedy. Another life taken from racing -- this is just unbelievable! I wish something can be done to take the pain away, but please be aware that so many of us out here are keeping the Irwin family in our hearts and prayers. May God be with you all."

Bridget DiCosimo,
Plainville, Conn.

"I remember watching Kenny drive at the Brickyard 400. He had the form of a champion and would have become a Winston Cup champ. It was nice to see a guy from Indianapolis racing in NASCAR. He will be missed."

John Richeson,
Indianapolis, Ind.

"When something as tragic as this happens it doesn't matter who your 'favorite' driver is. The world has lost a great competitor and an outstanding person."

Scott Strohm,
Bellefonte, Pa.

"I will miss you Kenny. I followed your races since driving in the Craftsman Truck Series and was very happy when you became a WC driver. The accident is a very big shock for me. This is a great loss for Motorsport, NASCAR, his fans, family, NEMCO and me. I will miss you, but will never forget you. You will forever in my heart. Thanks for the wonderful time I could be a fan of you. Rest in peace.

Robert Machielse,
Breda, The Netherlands

"I remember Kenny's first race. I said, 'Dad I'm going for the rookie.' He said, 'Who?' I said, "Number 28 Havoline car Kenny Irwin.' He did well that race for just being a rookie driver."

Ryan Bettin,
Jackson, Mn.

"I met Kenny Irwin at this year's Winston race at Lowe's Motor Speedway in May. I spoke with him and received his autograph. He was so friendly. He had such a gentle, gracious disposition. He was not like any other driver that I have met. He represented NASCAR and Bellsouth very well. Kenny will be greatly missed! What a sad, sad day!"

Michelle Roseman,
Newton, N.C.

"As an employee of Bellsouth, I would like to send my prayers to the family and friends of Kenny Irwin. He will be missed. All of us in the BCS Transport will keep his family in our prayers."

Edward Wells, Michael Messier, Robert Sowder, Robert Tidwell
Birmingham, Ala.

"Kenny Irwin earned my respect during his career. During the 1999 season, if there was ever a wreck on the track, Irwin was probably the impetus. Still, he drove hard and smart. He was the perfect combination of tough, old-school racing and modern, smooth driving. Who will ever forget his payback of Tony Stewart at Martinsville last year? That was definitely old-school. Yet he was remarkable in driving his best every week, never dwelling on negatives. His desire will be missed. We lost an exciting competitor."

L.P. Varner
Savannah, Ga.


Tragedy strikes twice: Irwin dies in Loudon crash