Louis Julius Irwin

Louis Julius Irwin

23/3/1904 - 10/11/1987

Lew Irwin raced against some of the best outlaw racing talent between 1921 and 1931 scoring numerous victories on the oval tracks of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Texas and Nebraska.

Lew Irwin was born on March 23, 1904 at Altamont, Kansas. His family soon moved to Erie, Kansas before settling at Iola, Kansas. He was married in 1921 at Iola to Rebecca J. Betty Mewhinney and they had one daughter, Eileen.

It is unknown just when or how he started driving racing cars but between 1921 and 1931 he scored numerous victories on the oval tracks of Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Texas and Nebraska. Lew Irwin had raced competitively against some of the best outlaw racing talent of his time.

It is not known when or why he gave up racing but a young driver named George Chitwood (later known as Joie Chitwood) replaced him in the Lawhon special in 1935 and went on to have a successful career in motor sports including competing in the Indianapolis 500 seven times.

In the early 1940s, Irwin moved his family to Irvington California where he started a number of businesses including one to convert busses into motor homes. In 1981, Irwin moved back to Iola, Kansas where he passed away on November 10, 1987. He is buried in Highland Cemetery on the north edge of Iola.

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