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Former NASCAR driver Ernie Irvan will be spending some time this month with people who also work with some pretty fast machinery.

Irvan, who retired from racing in 1999, will visit eight Air Force bases and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany in an eight-day swing through Europe beginning Tuesday at RAF Fairford in England.

Also on the schedule:

RAF Lakenheath, England, WednesdayRAF Croughton, England, ThursdayRAF Alconbury, England, July 16Aviano Air Base, Italy, July 17Ramstein and Sembach air bases, Germany, July 19Landstuhl, July 20Irvan’s visit is part of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe’s Extreme Summer program. Those meeting with him at the various bases can earn points toward grand prizes that will be handed out in early September. Among the prizes for adults are tickets to a NASCAR race in the States.

Irvan made his Winston Cup debut in 1987 and earned his first victory on the circuit three years later. The next year he won the Daytona 500. In 1994, he crashed during a practice lap in Michigan and was seriously injured. He recovered and resumed racing until 1999, when he retired after another serious crash.

It will be the second time he’s visited bases in Europe. The first came in 2002 as part of a support tour for the National Guard and Reserve forces.

Extreme Summer’s program began with a visit by costumed super hero Spider-Man in May, followed by Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward last month. Olympic speedskater Apollo Ono finishes off the appearances in August.


Stripes in 7



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