A bit of irony in former NASCAR driver's lawsuit
Ernie Irvan probably thought he was getting away from it all.
The former NASCAR driver settled on Wadmalaw Island a few years ago, about as far from Talladega or Darlington as you can get.
OK, maybe not Darlington.
But now, Irvan says somebody's put a restrictor plate on his retirement. The Post and Courier's Diane Knich reports on today's front page that he and his wife have filed a lawsuit complaining that the traffic to his neighbor's farm is driving too fast, kicking up dust and making too much noise.
You know, kind of like a NASCAR race.
This feud has the entire Selkirk Plantation neighborhood picking sides and fighting -- like the grandstand at Lowe's Motor Speedway. You'd think Irvan would feel right at home, but instead he's gotten all litigious on his neighbor.
Marshall Ambrose, who allows customers to self-pick produce part of the year, and also runs a community supported agriculture project, said the Irvans knew what they were getting into. He said the family mentioned living down the road from a "you-pick" in North Carolina.
And, the farmer said, he didn't complain when the contractors building Irvan's house (right up against his access road, no less) knocked down his fence. Twice.
This is a serious issue, but still there are a few things that probably have racing aficionados scratching their heads.
For one thing, you have a NASCAR driver complaining about farmers and hunters -- which suggests he doesn't know his fan base.
And the lawsuit states that the cars driving to Ambrose's farm "often travel at excessive speeds, greatly in excess of the community's posted speed limit of 14 MPH, creating a dangerous condition and generating excessive dust and noise right next to the Irvan property."
This guy won the Daytona 500?
Of course, the funniest thing is that the lawsuit acknowledges that the farm lies in an "agricultural preservation district."
Trenholm Walker, the Irvans' attorney, said the family just wants a ruling on whether Ambrose's farm is violating neighborhood covenants. Walker said the Irvans have no desire to shut down his farm.
Which is a relief because Ambrose -- who's never been a NASCAR fan -- thought Swervin' Irvan was trying to put him into the wall.