2003 IROC NEWS, LINEUP and SCHEDULE
Question: What is IROC?
Answer: International Race of Champions
The True Value IROC Series matches 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars, on Goodyear Eagle radial racing tires. The goal is to eliminate the mechanical advantages and to produce a winner determined solely on driver skill.. The series consists of four 100-mile races at different racetracks with points awarded for finishing positions. At the end of the fourth race, the points are tallied and a champion of champions is named. The True Value IROC began in 1973 with a simple premise: Take 12 of the world's top drivers from different forms of motorsports, put them in identically prepared cars, give them a set of rules which virtually eliminates variables usually associated with motorsports (pit stops, qualifying, control over setups), and wave the green flag at them.
TruServ, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the world's largest member-owned cooperatives serving more than 6,500 independent retailers nationally and internationally. The TruServ cooperative operates under store identities that include True Value, Grand Rental Station, Taylor Rental, Home & Garden Showplace and Induserve Supply. Additional information on TruServ and its retail identities is available at www.truserv.com
IROC 2004 News
- Been asked......what's up with IROC? UPDATES Crown Royal?: The International Race of Champions opener is still up in the air. The folks at IROC are apparently waiting to get the final, final, final OK from a new series sponsor. Daytona Intl Speedway is reserving them space on the Speed Weeks schedule (Feb. 13).(Daytona Beach News Journal)(12-19-2003)
UPDATE: have heard nothing on who could drive [no one has been named or rumored] or what model of cars they will run...if the series is run in 2004.....and on ThatsRacin.com, the Daytona International Speedway Speedweeks schedule has practice and race times listed, the official IROC site: www.irocracing.com has simply the following: 2004 Announcements Coming Soon!.(1-7-2004)
UPDATE 2: The International Race of Champions will not be part of the 2004 Brickyard 400 weekend schedule, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway announced Friday. Since 1998, IROC had staged one of its four races at IMS in conjunction with the NASCAR race. IROC, which uses 12 drivers from different racing series in identically prepared cars, had lost its sponsor, True Value, after last year's race. An announcement about a new IROC sponsor [Jayski hears it is Crown Royal? OR Smith and Wesson?] and format could come as early as next week. NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson won the 2003 IROC race at IMS. Drivers from NASCAR won each of the six IROC events staged at IMS, with Mark Martin taking the first three local races.(Indianapolis Star)
UPDATE 3: from the official IROC site: Stay Tuned to IROCracing.com For a Momentous Announcement Regarding the 2004 Season on Thursday, January 15th!(1-10-2004)
UPDATE 4: hearing it is Crown Royal being the new title sponsor...a multi-year agreement will be announced on Thursday, supposedly the first race will be at Daytona on Feb 13th and will start at 5:00pm/et and they will race under the lights. Live TV on Speed Channel. As for cars: hearing they will run the same IROC chassis that they ran last season which were were Firebirds but Pontiac isn't a sponsor so they have been dubbed "IROC chassis". Have heard nothing about drivers, but expect Cup, Busch and Truck champs for sure.(1-12-2004)
UPDATE 5: IROC will undergo a vast facelift this season, including new venues for three of its four races and a $1 million payoff to the winner, ThatsRacin.com has learned. The series, which annually pits 12 drivers from various forms of motorsports in four, 100-mile races competing in equally prepared Pontiac Firebirds, lost its sponsor last season, but has obtained Crown Royal as a replacement which will be unveiled during a major announcement Thursday, sources said. In fact, signage describing the "Crown Royal IROC Series" is already on display at Daytona International Speedway. According to sources, several other changes are planned:
......Races will be dropped from Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Chicagoland Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway.
......The series season opener will continue to be held at Daytona, on Feb. 13 this season but the three additional races in 2004 are planned for Texas (April 2) ; Richmond, Va. (Sept. 9); and Atlanta (Oct. 30).
IROC is considering a proposal to allow participants to utilize numbers on their IROC entries the same as they use in the series in which they regularly participate. For example, Nextel Cup driver Kurt Busch's IROC car will carry #97. Busch won the 2003 IROC championship, including the series' race at Talladega and $250,000. As part of the new sponsorship package, IROC will pay out $1 million to the winner of its series, while the remaining 11 participants will each be paid the same amount, likely less than $100,000 each, sources said.
As in previous seasons, a vast amount of the drivers in the series will have connections to NASCAR, as IROC has extended invitations to several drivers in NASCAR's Nextel Cup series, including 2003 champion Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick and Jeff Gordon. All but Gordon are expected to accept.
One driver who would have had an invitation, but had to decline is 2003 NASCAR Busch Series champion -- and now Cup driver -- Brian Vickers. Since the IROC series will now be sponsored by a liquor company, Vickers, 20, cannot participate because he has not yet reached the legal age limit to consume alcohol. Participants are also expected to come from the Indy Racing League and perhaps the World of Outlaws, among others.(ThatsRacin.com)(1-13-2004)
UPDATE - New Sponsor: The International Race of Champions [IROC] announced today the signing of a multi-year agreement with Crown Royal to be the official title sponsor of the IROC Series for 2004 and beyond. The 2004 Crown Royal International Race of Champions schedule will include the traditional Speedweeks opener at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., on Friday, Feb. 13. New venues are in the works for the remainder of the season including, Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas, on Friday, April 2., and Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va., on Thursday, September 9. IROC is also finalizing a fall date for the Crown Royal IROC Championship finale at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Atlanta, Ga. IROC is in negotiations with Fox/Speed Channel to televise all four events [LIVE!]. With the new Crown Royal sponsorship comes a significant increase in the Series' prize money. The purse for the 2004 IROC season will be $1.9 million including $1 million to the Series champion. This is a major increase from the 2003 season in which the champion received $250,000 and represents the highest payout for a Series Champion in IROC history.
Another big change taking place in 2004 will be the appearance of the Crown Royal IROC cars. Instead of the history-long tradition of drivers having different color cars and numbers, representing their position in the point standings, at each of the four races, a color scheme and car number, representing the driver's native series team, will be assigned pre-season and will remain with the driver throughout the four events. The pre-assigned color and utilizing the driver's team number will better enhance tracking and recognizing the individual competitors throughout the season. The traditional process of a blind draw will still take place among the lot of Crown Royal IROC race cars brought to each event. After the draw, color graphics and numbers will be applied to the field of race cars.
Crown Royal, America's leading super premium whisky, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal's smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. In addition to its sponsorship of the Crown Royal IROC Series, the brand also sponsors Team Crown Royal, a professional fishing team; The Crown Royal Comedy Soul Fest and a number of other major regional and national events. For more information on Crown Royal, visit www.crownroyal.com.(IROC Racing Site), no word on a drivers yet......(1-15-2004)
TRUE VALUE IROC RACE FOUR AT INDY JOHNSON TAKES THE WIN, BUSCH TAKES THE CHAMPIONSHIP
IROC 2003 News
- Jimmie Johnson led the final 20 laps to capture Saturday's True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) final race of 2003, while Kurt Busch finished fourth to clinch the $250,000.00 IROC championship here at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Johnson, representing the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, held off NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick by .697 seconds in the 40-lap, 100- mile race. Johnson's average speed on the historic 2.5-mile oval was 135.287 miles per hour. It was the first career IROC win for Johnson, as he became the third IROC rookie to win in 2003; rookies, Kurt Busch and Mike Bliss won race two and three at Talladega and Chicagoland, respectively.
Johnson, who started sixth, picked up five positions by lap-15-laps and was sitting second behind race leader Helio Castroneves, representing the IRL IndyCar Series, when a caution period for debris on lap-20 reformed the field for a double file restart.. On the restart, Johnson and Harvick used the high line to get around Castroneves, who had led from the pole, with Johnson leading the remaining 20 laps.
"It's an honor to be here and win at the Brickyard," said Johnson. "It's something I've dreamt of doing, and hopefully this is a good sign of things to come tomorrow for our race team in the Winston Cup Series."
Of his maneuver at the restart to take the lead, Johnson said, "I knew it was going to be my only opportunity to get a pass done. I worked by everybody and got to Helio (Castroneves). He was doing a great job. I didn't think I had anything for him, but when the caution came out I knew I would have about a lap to get something done. Harvick helped me down the straightaway and helped me get by, and it helped him into second place, so that was it from there."
Busch took the 2003 True Value IROC Championship by 11- points over four-time IROC champion, Mark Martin who finished fifth. Martin is Busch's teammate in the Winston Cup Series.. Busch said, "There are no teammates in IROC.. You have got to go. This is a 40-lap venue where you just have to go every lap and that's what it needed to be, and we were able to go away with the top spot today."
Busch continued, "It just an honor to drive in this series for one thing, but to compete against the best of the best and beat them one day - I just dreamed about this day, and it came true. My father's the greatest mentor in racing. He helped me get here, along with my Winston Cup crew and not to mention Mark Martin. A true competitor until the end."
ESPN will broadcast the True Value IROC finale at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, August 3 at 1:00pm/et.
THE TRUE VALUE IROC XXVII
Race Four - 40 Laps (100 Miles) Saturday, August 2, 2003
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indianapolis
Finish Start Driver Car Color Number Laps Times Led Total Laps Led Bonus Points Status
1 6 Jimmie Johnson Rose 7 40 1 20 5 21 Running
2 7 Kevin Harvick Gold 6 40 0 0 0 17 Running
3 9 Ryan Newman Red 4 40 0 0 0 14 Running
4 12 Kurt Busch Violet 1 40 0 0 0 12 Running
5 10 Mark Martin White 3 40 0 0 0 10 Running
6 2 Scott Sharp* Cream 11 40 0 0 0 9 Running
7 8 Greg Biffle Black 5 40 0 0 0 8 Running
8 1 Helio Castroneves Lime 12 40 1 20 3 7 Running
9 3 Steve Kinser Lt. Blue 10 40 0 0 0 6 Running
10 11 Mike Bliss Orange 2 40 0 0 0 5 Running
11 5 Sam Hornish Jr. Med. Blue 8 40 0 0 0 4 Running
12 4 Danny Lasoski Green 9 40 0 0 0 3 Running
Average Speed 135.287
Time of Race 44:21
Margin of Victory .697 *substitute for Felipe Giaffone
Lead Changes 1 among 2 drivers
Caution Periods 1
Lap Leaders:. 1-20 Castroneves, 21-40 Johnson.
True Value IROC Point Standings
Driver DaytonaRace Points Talladega Race Points Chicagoland Race Points Indianapolis Race Points Total
1. Kurt Busch 17 26 14 12 69
2. Mark Martin 26 12 10 10 58
3. Jimmie Johnson 15 7 8 26 56
4.. Mike Bliss 6 17 26 5 54
5. Kevin Harvick 10 9 12 17 48
6. Ryan Newman 3 11 20 14 48
7. Greg Biffle 10 14 9 8 41
8. Sam Hornish Jr. 7 12 7 4 30
9. Danny Lasoski 14 5 5 3 27
10. Felipe Giaffone/Scott Sharp 5 4 6 9 24
11. Steve Kinser 9 6 3 6 24
12. Helio Castroneves 4 3 6 10 23
*Tiebreaker Rule: In the event that two or more drivers are tied for bonus points, the bonus points will be awarded according to the finishing positions of the race.
In the event two or more drivers are tied in points at the end of the series, the tie will be broken by the driver who finished highest on average over all four races. If two or more drivers are still tied, then the tie will be broken by the driver with the highest finishing position in the final race.
Prize Money: The total True Value IROC purse of $1,205,000.00 will be paid upon conclusion of the series based on point standings. The series Champion will earn $250,000.
2003 TRUE VALUE IROC 27
FINAL POINT STANDINGS AND PRIZE MONEY
POSITION DRIVER REPRESENTING POINTS PRIZE MONEY
1 Kurt Busch NASCAR Winston Cup Series 69 $250.000
2 Mark Martin NASCAR Winston Cup Series 58 $125.000
3 Jimmie Johnson NASCAR Winston Cup Series 56 $. 95.000
4 Mike Bliss NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 54 $. 90,000
5 Kevin Harvick NASCAR Winston Cup Series 48* $. 85,000
6 Ryan Newman NASCAR Winston Cup Series 48* $. 80,000
7 Greg Biffle NASCAR Busch Series 41 $. 80,000
8 Sam Hornish Jr. IndyCarÔ Series 30 $. 80,000
9 Danny Lasoski World of Outlaws 27 $. 80,000
10 Felipe Giaffone/Scott Sharp IndyCarÔ Series 24* $. 80,000
11 Steve Kinser World of Outlaws 24* $. 80,000
12 Helio Castroneves IndyCarÔ Series 23 $. 80,000
TOTAL PURSE: $1,205,000.00
*Tiebreaker Rule: In the event two or more drivers are tied in points at the end of the series, the tie will be broken by the driver who finished highest, on average, over all four races. If two or more drivers are still tied, then the tie will be broken by the driver with the highest finishing position in the final race.(True Value IROC Series Site)(8-2-2003)
- No IROC in 2004? The International Race of Champions runs its final event of 2003 today at Indianapolis. Like so many other racing businesses, IROC is looking for enough funding to make sure today's race isn't its last for the foreseeable future. True Value, IROC's current title sponsor, is leaving after this year, and IROC is scrambling hard to find a replacement sponsor for the annual four-race series. "The deadline was probably six months ago, but that's beside the point," said Jay Signore, president and general manager of IROC. "You can say yes, there's a deadline. But what's a deadline? If you set a deadline for Dec. 31, and something comes along on Jan. 1, are you gonna cheat for a day?" IROC, which started in 1974, has disappeared before -- from 1981-83. In its earlier years, the IROC featured more of a variety -- road courses as well as ovals, sportscar stars as well as NASCAR and Indy-car champs -- than it does today. IROC hasn't run a road course since 1991 at Watkins Glen, and its ability to get a wider variety of champs is often hampered by scheduling problems. Over the past decade, it has been heavy with NASCAR Winston Cup drivers, with races run during Cup weekends at Cup tracks.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(8-2-2003)
- Three Contenders for IROC Championship: In recent True Value IROC seasons, the scenario going into the finale at the Brickyard has been a wide spread battle, usually consisting of half the 12-driver field or more. But the sixth consecutive, True Value IROC at Indy championship crowning event Saturday, August 2, will be a contest of three, consisting of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kurt Busch, NASCAR Craftsman Truck champion, Mike Bliss, and Busch's Winston Cup teammate Mark Martin. Winning races, collecting bonus points for leading laps and decent showings, when not winning, separates Busch, Bliss and Martin from the remainder of the field, but not by much. If Busch finished last and NASCAR Winston Cup driver, Ryan Newman, fourth in points, won and collected five-bonus points for leading most laps, he would lose the championship by the tiebreaker, which awards the championship according to average finishes over all four-races. Martin is a four-time True Value IROC Champion and has won every IROC race he has competed in at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway starting with the inaugural event in 1998 and continuing with consecutive wins in 1999 and 2000 - each win came from the back of the pack. Martin's unabashed goal is to capture a, record-breaking, fifth title; he currently shares the record of four-titles with the late Dale Earnhardt. Adding to that, a repeat of his 1998 combination race win and championship would give him a 12th IROC race win and would break his shared record of 11 all-time wins, which he holds with Earnhardt and Al Unser Jr. Busch and Bliss are at the opposite end of their IROC careers. Both are bottle-rocket rookies with IROC wins under their belts. Busch won race two on April 5 at Talladega Superspeedway and Bliss won race three on July 12 at Chicagoland; both also maximized their victories by collecting five-bonus points. But, the two have a formidable situation sitting just ahead of them - literally. The line up for the race is by reverse order of the point standings, which will start Mark Martin 10th, one row ahead of Bliss and Busch starting 11th and 12th, respectively. The reigning True Value IROC champion, Kevin Harvick, sixth in points, is out of contention for a repeat championship. The 40-lap, 100-mile True Value IROC finale will get underway at Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 2:00pm/et and be broadcast on ESPN, Sunday, August 3 at 1:00pm/et.(IROC PR)(8-1-2003)
- Bliss wins at Chicagoland: Mike Bliss led the final 49 laps to capture Saturday's True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) race here at Chicagoland Speedway. Bliss, representing the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as the 2002 champion, edged NASCAR Winston Cup driver Ryan Newman by 3.252 seconds in the 67-lap, 100.5 mile race. Bliss' average speed on the 1.5-mile oval was 137.384 miles per hour. It was the first career IROC win for Bliss and the first IROC victory for a representative of the NASCAR Truck Series. Bliss, who started ninth, moved to the front early in the race and eventually took the lead by passing Newman on the 19th lap. "It was a special win in a special series," said Bliss, who now competes in the NASCAR Busch Series. "The car was flawless and I just drove it as hard as I could. I know some of the best drivers in the world were behind me and I didn't want to let up. When you have an opportunity to win one of these races, you have to be aggressive and jump on it." By claiming the win, Bliss moved from fourth to second in the True Value IROC standings with 49 points. NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kurt Busch, who finished third, remains the True Value IROC leader with 57 points. Mark Martin, a four- time IROC champion, is third with 48 points. The next and final True Value IROC race of the season will be Aug. 2 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during NASCAR's Brickyard 400 weekend. The results:
Fin.St. Driver Car Color Number Laps Times Led Total Laps Led Bonus Points Status
1-9 Mike Bliss-Violet-4 ...... 67 ...... 1 ...... 49 ...... 5 21 Running
2-3 Ryan Newman-White-10. 67 ...... 1 ...... 13 ...... 3 17 Running
3-12 Kurt Busch-Lime-1 ...... 67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 14 Running
4-6 Kevin Harvick-Gold-7 .... 67........ 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 12 Running
5-11 Mark Martin-Rose-2 .... 67........ 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 10 Running
6-10 Greg Biffle-Dark Blue-3. 67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 9 Running
7-8 Jimmie Johnson-Lt.Blue 5... 67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 8 Running
8-7 Sam Hornish Jr.-Med. Blue-6-67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 7 Running
9-2 Scott Sharp*-Red-11...... 67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 6 Running
10-5 Danny Lasoski-Dk Orange-8-67 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 5 Running
11-1 Helio Castroneves-Green-12-39 ...... 1 ...... 5 ...... 2 4 Mechanical
12-4Steve Kinser-Cream 9.......... 38 ...... 0 ...... 0 ...... 0 3 Mechanical
Time of Race: 43 minutes, 54 seconds.
Margin of Victory: 3.252 seconds.
Lead Changes: 3 among 3 drivers.
Lap Leaders: Castroneves 1-5; Newman 6-18; Bliss 19-67
Average Speed 137.384
Time of Race 43:54
*substitute for Felipe Giaffone
Lead Changes 3 among 3
Caution Periods 1
Bonus points for lap leaders: Bliss 5; Newman 3; Castroneves 2.(IROC Site)
AND Mike Bliss became the first driver representing the NASCAR Truck series to win a race in the International Race of Champions series on Saturday, taking the lead on Lap 19 and staying there the rest of the way at Chicagoland Speedway. Bliss became the 42nd different driver to win an IROC race. Dale Earnhardt and Al Unser Jr. lead the all-time series standings with 11 victories each. "I remember watching the IROC series on television," Bliss said. "I just remember them running around Riverside. When they asked me last year if I'd do this I was excited. I never thought about winning a race." Bliss has done that, and now he can think realistically about winning the series title. He'll go into the final race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 2 in second place with 49 points. Kurt Busch, who finished third behind Bliss and Ryan Newman on Saturday, leads the standings with 57 points. Mark Martin, a four-time IROC champion who was fifth in Saturday's race, has 48 points. This year's title will almost certainly be decided among those three in the final leg at Indy. Bliss, invited after winning last year's Truck series title, now drives full time in the Busch Series. He said he learned some things about taking care of his right-front tire in the Busch race Saturday at Chicago that helped him in the IROC event that followed. "If you ran in the corner too deep it made your right-front tire mad," Bliss said. Bliss started ninth in the 12-car field, but made a big move early by going low onto the apron. "I passed about five cars and I almost went down in the grass," he said. "I thought, 'Whoa! Is it out of bounds down there?'" There's no such line at Chicago, as there was at Daytona and Talladega, where the first two IROC races were held. Bliss had finished second to Busch at Talladega and is now kicking himself for his ninth-place finish in the opener at Daytona. "I should have just got in line and stayed in line," Bliss said. "But I thought I would show those guys a thing or two." Bliss emerged with the lead in a three-way battle with Newman and Kevin Harvick and pulled away in clean air from there. Newman stayed behind him in second, holding on as Busch battled his way by Harvick and Martin to get third. "It was a matter of me trying to push Mark up to Harvick and get those two cars to racing," Busch said. "That way, I could get around the pink car. That was the only car I was focused on." That was the car driven by Martin, who came into the day five points behind Busch in the overall standings.(ThatsRacin.com)(7-13-2003)
- True Value IROC Point Standings after 3 or 4 races:
1 Kurt Busch NASCAR Winston Cup 57
2 Mike Bliss NASCAR Craftsman Truck 49
3 Mark Martin NASCAR Winston Cup 48
4 Ryan Newman NASCAR Winston Cup 34
5 Greg Biffle NASCAR Busch Series 33
6 Kevin Harvick NASCAR Winston Cup 31
7 Jimmie Johnson NASCAR Winston Cup 30
8 Sam Hornish IRL Indy Car Series 26
9 Danny Lasoski O'Reilly World of Outlaws 24
10 Steve Kinser O'Reilly World of Outlaws 18
11 Felipe Giaffone/Scott Sharp IRL Indy Car Series 15
12 Helio Castroneves IRL Indy Car Series 13 (IROC site)(7-13-2003)
- IROC Facts for True Value IROC 27, Race Three - Chicagoland Speedway
When:. Saturday, July 12, 2003
Where:. Chicagoland Speedway (1.5-mile D-shaped tri-oval) Joliet, Ill.
Start Time:. 5:30pm/et
Distance:. 67 laps, 100.5 miles
Career IROC Race: 107
Broadcast:. ESPN. - Saturday, July 12, 9-10pm/et
Pos. No. Color Driver Residence Representing
1 12 Green Helio Castroneves Miami IndyCar Series
2 11 Red Felipe Giaffone+Scott Sharp Orlando, Fla. IndyCar Series
3 10 White Ryan Newman+ Mooresville, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup
4 9 Cream Steve Kinser Bloomington, Ind. World of Outlaws
5 8 Dark Orange Danny Lasoski Dover, Mo. World of Outlaws
6 7 Gold Kevin Harvick Winston-Salem, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup
7 6 Med. Blue Sam Hornish, Jr. Defiance, Ohio IndyCar Series
8 5 Powder Blue Jimmie Johnson+ Mooresville, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup
9 4 Violet Mike Bliss+ Milwaukee, NASCAR Truck Series
10 3 Dark Blue Greg Biffle+ Mooresville, N.C. NASCAR Busch Series
11 2 Rose Mark Martin Daytona Beach, Fla. NASCAR Winston Cup
12 1 Lime Kurt Busch+ Charlotte, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup
* Lineup determined by reverse order of True Value IROC point standings
. Car numbers reflect current True Value IROC point standings
. Car colors will be determined by a blind draw, Thursday, July 10
+ True Value IROC rookie.
Current True Value IROC Point Standings............ (2003 race wins in parentheses)
Pos. Driver DaytonaPoints TalladegaPoints TotalPoints
1 Kurt Busch (1) 17 26 43
2 Mark Martin (1) 26 12 38
3 Greg Biffle 10 14 24
4 Mike Bliss 6 17 23
5 Jimmie Johnson 15 7 22
T6 Sam Hornish Jr. 7 12 19 Fin. Avg. 3
T6 Kevin Harvick 10 9 19 Fin. Avg. 3.25 Talla. Fin. Pos. 6
T6 Danny Lasoski 14 5 19 Fin. Avg. 3.25 Talla. Fin. Pos. 10
7 Steve Kinser 9 6 15
8 Ryan Newman 3 11 14
9 Felipe Giaffone 5 4 9
10 Helio Castroneves 4 3 7
Point System: Drivers earn points in each race based on finishing position.
In addition, five bonus points are awarded to the driver who leads the most laps in each race, three bonus points are awarded to the driver who leads the second greatest number of laps, and two bonus points are awarded to the driver who leads the third greatest number of laps.
Tie Breaker: In case of a tie for bonus points, the driver with the highest finishing position in that race receives the bonus. In case of a tie in points, the starting positions and cars numbers will be in order of average finish to date in the season. In case of a tie in average finish, the order will be determined by finishing position in the previous race.
Chicagoland Speedway is the 14th different speedway to host a True Value IROC race and the second 1.5-mile course for the series; the other was Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte.
By winning the previous True Value IROC race at Talladega Superspeedway (April 5), in only his second start, IROC rookie, Kurt Busch became the 41st driver to win an IROC race. In 2002, IROC series rookie Kevin Harvick won the California Speedway event in his second IROC start and went on to win the 2002 True Value IROC championship.
There are six rookie drivers competing in this year's True Value IROC Series. The current point standing of each rookie driver is:
Kurt Busch - 43
Greg Biffle - 24
Mike Bliss - 23
Jimmie Johnson - 22
Ryan Newman. - 14
Felipe Giaffone - 9
Remaining True Value IROC Schedule: Aug. 2 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway (2.5-mile oval) 100 miles, 40 laps.(IROC PR)(7-11-2003)
- IRL Driver Scott Sharp Replaces Injured Felipe Giaffone in IROC race: IRL driver Scott Sharp will replace the injured Felipe Giaffone in the 2003 True Value IROC Series. Giaffone suffered a fractured leg and pelvis as a result of a crash in the July 6 IRL event at Kansas Speedway. He is recuperating from surgery performed at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis and will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2003 True Value IROC season. This will be Sharp's third appearance in the IROC series. His first came in 1994 representing his Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) title and again in 2002 representing the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series. Sharp finished 12th overall in 1994 and 9th overall in 2002 with his best race finish, third in the 2002 IROC opener at Daytona International Speedway. Going into the Chicagoland Speedway event this Saturday, July 12, Giaffone/Sharp is 11th in the point standings and will start second, in the outside pole position, next to fellow IndyCar Series driver, Helio Castroneves, currently 12th in the standings.(IROC PR)(7-10-2003)
- IROC Testing at Chicago: The True Value International Race of Champions [IROC] held a two-day test session Monday and Tuesday in preparation for the July 12th IROC event at Chicagoland Speedway. Drivers testing were current IROC drivers Danny Lasoski (Word of Outlaws) and Felipe Giaffone (IRL IndyCar Series), as well as IROC test drivers Dave Marcis and Jim Sauter. Current NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps and NHRA Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta also stopped by to try their hand at turning left in an IROC car. According to IROC president, Jay Signore, the focus of this week's test session is to continue on improving the set-up for race day. "Right now we are trying to get a chassis underneath us that will perform great for each of the drivers." "Today," Signore continued, "we are working on springs, shocks, aerodynamics and getting balance into the cars. We are always trying to improve and make the cars more drivable for these guys." Fresh off competing in last weekends' Lucas Oil Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Chicagoland Speedway's sister track, Route 66 Raceway (1/4-mile drag strip), NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps and NHRA Top Fuel driver Doug Kalitta, both took the track in the colored IROC machines. Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, owner of Ron Capps car, was also on hand at Chicagoland Speedway checking out the 18-degree banked speedway. Marcis liked what he saw during the test with Capps and Kalitta. "I think them coming here to the speedway is great. They are true racers, have the interest and are willing to come here and try this out. They are doing really good in these cars. Their lap times are coming down each time after we talk to them," said Marcis about their progression today. NHRA drivers joining IROC is something Marcis sees as a positive. "It would be great for NHRA drivers to join the IROC series. It will be that much more interesting to the spectator having them there."(IROC PR)(6-4-2003)
- Bruton Smith to sponsor IROC? Bruton Smith confirmed that one of his companies, zMAX, is negotiating to become the sponsor of the International Race of Champions series. The True Value chain of hardware stores will end its association with IROC after this season. "I am not interested in buying IROC," Smith said. "But I do have people who I'm quite sure have talked a couple of times about maybe becoming a sponsor. We are discussing that with them." Smith said that while he would leave the management of the series up to IROC president Jay Signore and his team, that does not mean Smith wouldn't have ideas for possible changes in the series. "We might have some suggestions," Smith said. "I would like to see it really be an international race of champions. It doesn't seem they ever quite get that." Smith said he thinks a "consolidation" of the IROC schedule might be necessary "if you really want to have a championship," but would not elaborate further. The potential sponsor, zMAX, is a line of engine lubricant products made by a company Smith bought in 1997.(ThatsRacin.com)(5-8-2003)
- THE TRUE VALUE IROC XXVII - Busch Wins at Talladega:
1. (2) Light Blue, Kurt Busch, NASCAR Winston Cup, 38 laps, 139.367mph, 26 points.
2. (9) Evans Orange, Mike Bliss, NASCAR Truck Series, 38, 17.
3. (5) Lime, Greg Biffle, NASCAR Busch Series, 38, 14.
4. (8) Green, Sam Hornish, IRL IndyCar Series, 38, 12.
5. (1) Silver, Mark Martin, NASCAR Winston Cup, 38,12.
6. (6) Dark Blue, Kevin Harvick, NASCAR Winston Cup, 38, 9.
7. (12) Gold, Ryan Newman, NASCAR Winston Cup, 38, 11.
8. (3) Red, Jimmie Johnson, NASCAR Winston Cup, 38, 7.
9. (7) White, Steve Kinser, World of Outlaws, 38, 6.
10. (4) Dark Orange, Danny Lasoski, World of Outlaws, 38, 5.
11. (10) Rose, Felipe Giaffone, IRL IndyCar Series, 38, 4.
12. (11) Med. Blue, Helio Castroneves, IRL IndyCar Series, 37, 3.
Race Two - 38 Laps (101.08 Miles) Saturday, April 5, 2003
Time of race: 43 minutes, 31 seconds.
Margin of Victory: .098 seconds.
Lead changes: 5 among 4 drivers.
Lap Leaders: Newman 1-3; Bliss 4; Busch 5-6; Martin 7-8; Busch 9-38.
Bonus points for lap leaders: Busch 5; Newman 3; Martin 2.
Point Standings: Busch 43; Martin 38; Biffle 24; Bliss 23; Johnson 22; Hornish 19; Harvick 19; Lasoski 19; Kinser 15; Newman 14; Giaffone 9; Castroneves 7.
*Tiebreaker Rule: In the event that two or more drivers are tied for bonus points, the bonus points will be awarded according to the finishing positions of the race.
Prize Money: The total True Value IROC purse of $1,205,000.00 will be paid upon conclusion of the series based on point standings.. The series Champion will earn $250,000.
ESPN: Will televise True Value IROC race two at Talladega Saturday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time)
Next Race: True Value IROC XXVII will resume Saturday, July 12 at Chicagoland Speedway, Joliet, IL.(IROC Racing)(4-5-2003)
- IROC at Richmond? The International Race of Champions Series could make its short-track debut at Richmond International Raceway next year. IROC President Jay Signore said RIR nearly welcomed his 29-year-old series of equally prepared stock cars to the 0.75-mile oval this season. IROC would have been contested as a companion event to the track's Indy Racing League event on June 28. "We were right on the edge of doing it," Signore said. "It was just a matter of scheduling. Richmond, for a long time, is something we've tried to do," Signore said. "The desire is there to go, and that's 90 percent of the battle. The other 90 percent is the schedule. . . . As soon as they can see the makeup of all the events, we can have a conversation to see what we can fix up." The series generally has been a support race on Winston Cup weekends at California, Michigan, Daytona and Indianapolis during recent years. Since its inception in 1974, IROC has raced at road courses, street courses and ovals around the country but never on a short track.(Richmond Times Dispatch)(4-5-2003)
- The following is the True Value IROC starting lineup for Saturday's 38 lap,101.08 mile race at Talladega Superspeedway. The start time is 4:30pm/et.
Pos. No. ..... Color Driver Residence Representing
1 12 Gold Ryan Newman Mooresville, NC NASCAR Winston Cup
2 11 Medium Blue Helio Castroneves Miami IRL IndyCar Series
3 10 Rose Felipe Giaffone Orlando, FL IRL IndyCar Series
4 9 Evans Orange Mike Bliss Milwaukee NASCAR Craftsman Truck
5 8 Green Sam Hornish Defiance, OH IRL IndyCar Series
6 6 Dark Blue *Kevin Harvick Winston-Salem, NC NASCAR Winston Cup
7 7 White Steve Kinser Bloomington, IN O'Reilly World of Outlaws
8 5 Lime Greg Biffle Mooresville, NC NASCAR Busch
9 3 Red Jimmie Johnson Mooresville, NC NASCAR Winston Cup
10 4 Dark Orange Danny Lasoski Dove, MO O'Reilly World of Outlaws
11 2 Light Blue Kurt Busch Charlotte, NC NASCAR Winston Cup
12 1 Silver Mark Martin Daytona Beach, FL NASCAR Winston Cup
*2002 True Value IROC Champion
Initial Broadcast: ESPN -. Saturday, April 12, 1:00pm/et
Talladega IROC Facts:
§ Distance - 101.08 miles, 38 laps (Yellow fag laps do not count.) No pit stop required.
§ Line Up - Starting order is determined by inverting the Daytona race-one finishing order. Car numbers reflect position in the points standing.. The car color is determined by draw.
§ This will be the 13th IROC race at Talladega Superspeedway and the 106th IROC race.
§ Of the 12 IROC races contested at Talladega, three races have been won by open wheel drivers - Al Unser Jr. (1993, 1996) and Steve Kinser (1994).
§ Talladega IROC wins by division:. NASCAR Winston Cup (9), CART (2), World of Outlaws (1).
§ Multiple Talladega IROC race winners: Dale Earnhardt (1990, 1995, 1999), Al Unser, Jr. (1993, 1996), Bobby Labonte (2000, 2001).
§ Consecutive Talladega IROC wins: Bobby Labonte (2000, 2001).
§ Talladega Race winners from the pole: None
§ Talladega race winners starting from the last position (12th): Dale Earnhardt, True Value IROC 23, April 24, 1999.
§ Talladega race winners leading start to finish: None
§ Fastest IROC race: Talladega, 191.722 MPH, 31 min., 38 sec., Davey Allison, May 2, 1992, IROC 16.
§ Talladega Lead Change Record: 18 among 7 drivers, IROC 17, 1993.
§ Purse Total - $1,205,000 with $250,000 awarded to the Championship based on points standings at the end of the fourth race.
(IROC Racing PR)(4-4-2003)
- Capps Tests IROC - 'Like Day's of Thunger': NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps made a little oval-racing history this week, testing an IROC Firebird at Talladega Superspeedway, where the second round of the 2003 International Race of Champions Series will be run on Saturday. Capps, who has raced on ovals in sprint cars, worked with IROC test driver and driving school teacher Andy Hillenburg on Tuesday and quickly got up to speed. "I'm in the car and the radios are hooked up together and Hillenburg and I are having a conversation at 180 mph about how he wants me to pull up closer to him," Capps said. "I said, 'Andy, are you sure about this?' I'd only been out there about 10 laps. We were going wide-open and he had me following him all over the place. We ran down around the apron for a few laps and then he said we were going to explore other parts of the race track and, before you know it, he had me running 180, about a foot away from the wall. If that doesn't get your heart pumped, I don't know what will." Capps went out for one more session, but this time in a four-car draft with IRL driver Felipe Giaffone, World of Outlaws champion Danny Lasoski, and IROC test driver Dick Trickle. Capps was last in line, drafting with Trickle, when suddenly Trickle shot up to the wall between turns one and two and passed Giaffone and Lasoski. "I started to go with him and then remembered, 'I'm not that good yet.' It was exactly like in 'Days of Thunder,' " Capps said. "He did an excellent job," Trickle said. "We had him up front, behind us, three-wide and he had great car control the entire time. Very impressive." Capps, who would love to get a chance to really race in the all-star series, said, "The drag racing community has been going wild since this got out about me testing an IROC car. I've gotten more interview requests about this than I do when I win a race." Currently, IROC includes driving stars from NASCAR, the IRL and the World of Outlaws.(ThatsRacin.com/AP/IROC PR)(4-3-2003)
- Capps in IROC? NHRA driver Ron Capps, driver of the Skoal Racing Funny Car, has been invited to test an International Race of Champions [IROC] car before IROC races at Talladega Superspeedway in April and Chicagoland Speedway in July. If testing goes well, Capps would be in line in 2004 to become the first driver to represent the NHRA in the four-race all-star series. This year's IROC series features drivers from NASCAR, the IRL IndyCar Series and the World of Outlaws. Capps leads the NHRA Funny Car standings after his semifinal finish in Pomona with his 14th career NHRA title in Arizona.(Las Vegas Sun)(3-7-2003)
- Martin wins Daytona: Mark Martin won the IROC race at Daytona on Feb 14th. Mark Martin , driving the #8 Pontiac Firebird sporting green colors took the lead on Lap 32 thanks to some bump drafting from World of Outlaws driver Danny Lasoski. He then managed to hold off the rest of the field to claim his first IROC win at Daytona and his 11th career IROC win. Martin, who resides in Daytona Beach, Fla., is now tied for most IROC wins alongside the late Dale Earnhardt and Al Unser Jr. Rounding out the top five was Martin's Roush Racing teammate Kurt Busch, Danny Lasoski, Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle.(DIS PR)
AND A victory in the opening round of the International Race of Champions has Mark Martin well on the way to the goals that brought him back to the all-star series this year. Martin, a four-time series champion, beat Roush Racing teammate and IROC rookie Kurt Busch to the finish line Friday by 0.123-second - about 11/2 car-lengths. Last year, Martin was insulted when he wasn't invited to participate in IROC because of an subpar season in NASCAR's Winston Cup series. It was the possibility of matching or beating the series record of 11 victories by the late Dale Earnhardt and Al Unser Jr., and the chance to break a tie with Earnhardt for the most IROC titles that brought Martin back. Martin's win Friday was a big step toward catching seven-time Winston Cup champion Earnhardt and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Unser on the victory list. After emerging from his car with a big smile, Martin thanked IROC officials for inviting him back. "To come back like this after sitting out is special," he said. "I'm the kind of guy that likes being on top and likes being respected. It was very important to me to come out and have a strong year in IROC." As for matching Unser and Earnhardt, Martin had nothing but praise for them. The winner dominated the 100-mile race for 12 identically prepared IROC Firebirds, leading 21 of the 40 laps, including the final nine. Busch worked with Martin at the front early in the race, but was penalized after going under the yellow line at the bottom of the banked track to pass World of Outlaws sprint car star Steve Kinser. "I got inside of him and I saw him starting to move down," Busch said. "Kinser kept coming and coming and coming, and I went below the yellow line to save his car and my car." As Busch swept past, Indy Racing League driver Felipe Giaffone, also an IROC rookie, slipped in the middle of a three-wide draft, tagged the rear of Kinser's car, and sent Kinser spinning through the grass. That brought out the only caution flag of the race, and Busch was at the rear of the field when racing resumed. By the end, he had worked himself up behind Danny Lasoski, another World of Outlaws star. They got into a side-by-side duel on the last lap that allowed Martin to stay out front without challenge. NASCAR's Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle, the Busch Series champ, finished fourth and fifth, followed by Kinser, Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick, two-time IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr., NASCAR truck champion Mike Bliss, Giaffone, two-time Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves and 2002 Winston Cup rookie of the year Ryan Newman. Castroneves was the only other driver to get in trouble Friday, getting forced off the track into the grass at nearly 180 mph. Somehow, he got the car back onto the track and under control without even losing the draft. The next event on the four-race IROC schedule is April 5 at Talladega Superspeedway. (ThatsRacin.com/AP).(2-14-2003)
- Daytona IROC Results:
Sam Hornish Jr.
for results see ThatsRacin.com.(2-14-2003)
- Points after 1 of 4 races:
Mark Martin 26
Kurt Busch 17
Jimmie Johnson 15
Danny Lasoski 14
Kevin Harvick 10
Greg Biffle 10
Steve Kinser 9
Sam Hornish 7
Mike Bliss 6
Felipe Giaffone 5
Helio Castroneves 4
Ryan Newman 3.
- The following is the True Value IROC starting lineup for Friday's 40 lap, 100-mile race. The start time is 11:00am/et
Position Color............... Driver..................... Residence................. Representing
1.......... Black.............. Steve Kinser...... .... Bloomington, IN......... O'Reilly World of Outlaws
2.......... Silver............... Danny Lasoski....... Dove, MO.................. O'Reilly World of Outlaws
3.......... Purple..............Sam Hornish, Jr...... Defiance, OH............. IRL IndyCar Series
4.......... Rose............... Jimmie Johnson...... Mooresville, NC.......... NASCAR Winston Cup
5.......... Aqua............... Felipe Giaffone........ Orlando, FL............... IRL IndyCar Series
6.......... Red................. Mike Bliss.............. Milwaukee................ NASCAR Craftsman Truck
7.......... Cream............. Ryan Newman........ Mooresville, NC......... NASCAR Winston Cup
8.......... Green.............. Mark Martin............ Daytona Beach, FL... NASCAR Winston Cup
9.......... Orange............ Kurt Busch............. Charlotte, NC............ NASCAR Winston Cup
10........ Medium Blue.... Helio Castroneves... Miami....................... IRL IndyCar Series
11........ Gold................ Kevin Harvick.......... Winston-Salem, NC... NASCAR Winston Cup
12........ Light Blue........ Greg Biffle............... Mooresville, NC......... NASCAR Busch
Initial Broadcast: ESPN2, Sunday, Feb. 16, 10:30pm/et
(IROC Racing PR)(2-12-2003)
- Burton returns to IROC broadcast team: #99 Roush Racing driver Jeff Burton will join Bob Jenkins and Scott Goodyear in the announcers' booth for the 2003 IROC Race Series. Burton, who made his broadcasting debut with the series last year, will return to help call the 27th season of the series, which is to be aired on ESPN.(Winston Cup Scene Daily Newsletter)(2-12-2002)
- Hornish wrecks in IROC practice UPDATE Draw today: Indy Racing League driver Sam Hornish crashed in practice for the opening round of the International Race of Champions series.(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
UPDATE: The IROC drivers will draw starting position at 1:30pm/et today. In practice Tuesday, IRL driver Sam Hornish spun and hit the wall. He was treated and released from the infield medical center.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-12-2003)
- IROC needs a series sponsor too: The International Race of Champions [IROC] announced today it would seek a replacement Title Sponsor for 2004 due to the departure of True Value from auto racing at the conclusion of the 2003 season. The departure of TruServ from auto racing is due to realignment of the corporation's marketing investments. The Specialized Marketing Group, Inc.. (TSMGI), headquartered in Deerfield, IL, who currently handles licensed product relations for the IROC Series, has been retained to pursue sponsorship and manage sponsor relations and event activities. IROC is hopeful for other changes in 2004.. "We're looking to move the series forward in our search for a new Title Sponsor, in addition to our search for car manufacturer support, " said, Signore. "Our goal is to start anew in 2004 and with the right sponsorship package we could pursue ways to diversify the current format, which we have been locked into due to scheduling and economics. The strength of the IROC Series as a marketing platform has been clearly defined by the long-term relationships encompassing its 26-year history and we are looking forward to continuing that tradition with new long-term partners."(IROC PR)(2-7-2003)
- IROC Cars stay another year: IROC will roll through another year with Pontiac Firebird bodies on its tube-frame stock cars, though it will do so again without any Pontiac support. “We’ve decided to hang with the car for another year,” True Value International Race of Champions series president Jay Signore said. “We’ll struggle for a year, but we’ve raced for the last two years without Pontiac support and I think we still put on an exciting show.” Signore said he has talked with GM, Ford and the Chrysler group about potential replacements for the Firebird, which no longer is in production. He suggested the series would be interested in again running with a “concept” body of an upcoming vehicle, much as it did in 1994 when it raced with Dodge Avenger bodies over its tube-frame cars. The Firebird replaced the Avenger as the IROC car in 1996. Signore said Chrysler expressed interest in IROC Vipers, but that the IROC series is “better off if we can run with a higher-volume car.” Signore would have liked approval to do a race version of Pontiac’s new GTO, but Pontiac officials told him the reborn muscle car is a limited-production vehicle.(Autoweek)(1-28-2003)
- 2003 FIELD SET FOR TRUE VALUE IROC SERIES: True Value IROC officials announced the field for the 2003 True Value International Race of Champions. The field will consist of representation from five major racing series and the returning series champion.(1-3-2003)
In alphabetical order:
Driver Series Representing True Value IROC Series
1. Greg Biffle NASCAR Busch 1st time in IROC
2. Mike Bliss NASCAR Craftsmen Truck 1st
3. Kurt Busch NASCAR Winston Cup 1st
4. Helio Castroneves Indy Racing League IndyCar 2nd
5. Felipe Giaffone Indy Racing League IndyCar 1st
6. Kevin Harvick NASCAR Winston Cup 2nd (2002 Champion)
7. Sam Hornish Indy Racing League IndyCar 2nd
8. Jimmie Johnson NASCAR Winston Cup 1st
9. Steve Kinser World of Outlaws 4th
10. Danny Lasoski World of Outlaws 2nd
11. Mark Martin NASCAR Winston Cup 10th (Four-time champion)
12. Ryan Newman NASCAR Winston Cup 1st
The four-race invitational all-star series, which matches 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars, on Goodyear Eagle radial racing tires, will open with race one at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 14.. The series will continue with race two at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 5, race three at Chicagoland Speedway, Saturday, July 12, and conclude with race four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday, Aug. 2.
Greg Biffle captured the NASCAR Busch Series championship for Roush Racing with an impressive record of four wins, five poles, 20 top-five and 25 top-10 finishes. He also became the first Busch driver to win more than $2 million in one season.
Mike Bliss had a stellar 2002 season winning the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship with five wins, 13 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. He had a 7.0 finishing average and earned more than $500,000 in prize money.
Kurt Busch showed no signs of a sophomore jinx in 2002. He finished third in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings with four wins, 12 top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. Three of the four wins came during the final five races of the season at Martinsville, Atlanta and Homestead. His other win was at Bristol in April. He also had three second-place finishes in 2002 at Fontana, Pocono and New Hampshire.
Helio Castroneves won his second consecutive Indianapolis 500, becoming only the fifth driver to win consecutive times at Indy and the first since Al Unser in 1970-1971. He is the first driver in Indy 500 history to win the race in each of his first two starts. Castroneves finished second for Marlboro Team Penske in his first full Indy Racing League IndyCar Series.
Felipe Giaffone finished a career-best fourth in the IRL IndyCar Series point standings driving for Mo Nunn Racing. His 2002 season included a win at Kentucky Speedway, five top-three and eight top-five finishes. He finished third in the Indianapolis 500 and surpassed $2 million in career IRL IndyCar Series earnings.
Kevin Harvick captured the 2002 True Value IROC championship, becoming the sixth first-year IROC driver to win the all-star series championship. He also became the first Busch Series representative to win the IROC championship. He won race two at California Speedway and finished ninth in race one at Daytona, fourth in race three at Chicagoland and fifth in race four at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 2002, Sam Hornish Jr., established two IRL IndyCar Series records; he became the first two-time IRL IndyCar Series champion and the first to win consecutive titles. He clinched the title by defeating Helio Castroneves in the final race by mere .0096 of a second. He scored five-wins for the Pennzoil Panther Racing team, 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes. He entered the final two races of the season in third place, behind Marlboro Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves and Gil de Ferran.
Jimmie Johnson's 2002 rookie season in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series was nothing short of spectacular. The Southern California native notched three victories - twice at Dover Downs and once at California Speedway in Fontana. Along with the three wins, he had six top-five and 21 top-10 finishes. He was the fastest qualifier four times - Daytona 500, Talladega (spring), Charlotte (spring), and Richmond (fall). He was the first rookie in the history of Winston Cup to lead in the point standings.
In 2002, Steve Kinser won his record 17th World of Outlaws championship, his 12th record Knoxville Nationals championship and along the way recorded 59 top-10 finishes, including 46 in the top five in 67 events. He won 20 "A" Features, increasing his career total to 471. He also won his 10th Gold Cup Race of Champions title. In 1994, Kinser was the first representative of short track racing to be invited to compete in the IROC Series and posted a win in only his third start at Talladega Superspeedway.
Despite missing four events due to injuries, Danny Lasoski finished second to Steve Kinser in the 2002 World of Outlaws Series final point standings. This is the second time in three years the 2001 champion has been the runner-up. He won a career-high 13 "A" Features, recording 52 top-10 finishes and 42 top-fives in 63 "A" Feature events.
Four-time True Value IROC champion, Mark Martin will make his 10th appearance in the series he dominated throughout the 1990's.. In 2002, Martin finished second in NASCAR Winston Cup points for the fourth time in his career. He collected a win at Charlotte, three second place finishes plus 12 top-five and 22 top-10s. Martin's record four True Value IROC championships is shared with the late Dale Earnhardt. Martin also holds the record for winning three-consecutive IROC titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Ryan Newman joins fellow freshman, Jimmie Johnson as a 2002 rookie sensation in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series. He finished sixth in the final point standings with a win at New Hampshire, 14 top-five finishes and six pole awards. The former open-wheel star, and USAC champion, narrowly edged out Johnson to win the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year award.
- Johnson makes it 3 for IROC UPDATE and...all driver named: Jimmie Johnson, driver of the NASCAR Winston Cup #48 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet, accepted an invitation to participate in the 2003 International Race of Champions (IROC). The IROC Racing Series has featured drivers from NASCAR's Winston Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck Series, World of Outlaws, International Racing League (IRL) and Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART). Johnson is hoping that he can continue the NASCAR Winston Cup series' dominance as of late. The four races that make up the 2003 IROC Racing Series will take place at Daytona International Speedway in February, Talladega Superspeedway in April, Chicagoland Speedway in July and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in August.(Golin Harris PR)
Add Harvick: Also Wednesday, sources confirmed that Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick - who won the 2002 IROC championship - has accepted an invitation to defend his championship this season.(ThatsRacin.com)
Add Martin, Busch, Newman, Biffle and Bliss: Other NASCAR participants include Busch Series champion Greg Biffle, Craftsman Truck Series champ Mike Bliss, Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Ryan Newman, Mark Martin and Kurt Busch. IRL drivers Sam Hornish, Helio Castroneves and Felipe Giaffone complete the IROC field.(NASCAR.com)(1-8-2003)
- Stewart Declines IROC Invite: For the second consecutive season, the reigning Winston Cup champion [Tony Stewart in 2002] has declined an invitation to participate in the International Race of Champions series. Jeff Gordon, who won the 2001 champion, elected not to participate in last season's IROC series, which features 12 drivers from various forms of motorsports competing in four 100-mile races in equally prepared Pontiac Firebirds. Stewart won the season opening IROC race last season and Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick won the series title. "With all that goes on during any given Winston Cup weekend, the time to focus on the main job - driving (for my team) - becomes more and more valuable as our sport continues to grow. I've never been a Winston Cup champion before and I want to do it right - for my team, for my fellow competitors and for my fans. When you win one championship it makes you want to win a second that much more."(ThatsRacin.com), so far only two drivers have been named to run IROC 2003, WoO drivers Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser. Usually it is the top five from Cup, the top drivers from the IRL, CART (is schedules match) and the BGN and sometimes CTS champ.(1-8-2003)
- 4th IROC race at Indy: The International Race of Champions will return to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2003 for the sixth consecutive year. Next year's race will be Aug. 2, the day before the 10th Brickyard 400. The IROC series, which consists of four races over the course of a year, features 12 top drivers from various series. The local race will be the season finale. Other races will be Feb. 14 at Daytona, April 5 at Talladega and July 12 at Chicago. Dale Jarrett is the defending Indy IROC champion. Mark Martin has won the local race three times.(Indy Star/AP) So far, the only drivers selected for IROC in 2003 are sprint car stars Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser, both champions in the World of Outlaws series.(12-18-2002)
- Three of four IROC tracks set: IROC will return to Chicagoland Speedway in 2003 for the July 11-13 NASCAR weekend.
During 2003, its 27th year of operation, IROC will make one of their four stops at Chicagoland Speedway. The 67-lap event (100 miles) is scheduled to take place before the BGN race on July 12, 2003.(Chicagoland Speedway PR). The other two have been announced at Daytona and Talladega. iIn 2002 the series ran at Daytona, California, Chicago and Indy.(11-21-2002)
- IROC Testing at Daytona: The True IROC team began testing Tuesday at Daytona International Speedway, which will host the opening event for True Value IROC XXVII on Feb. 14, 2003. As previously announced, the 2001 and 2002 Pennzoil World of Outlaw (WoO) champions, Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser, respectively, were in attendance and turned laps on the 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval. Kinser's last True Value IROC appearance was in 1996 and Tuesday was reorientation day for the dirt track ace. Veteran test drivers, Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Andy Hillenburg were on hand to shake down the cars and provide drafting practice for Kinser and Lasoski. The True Value IROC team will continue testing at Daytona International Speedway on Wednesday.(IROC PR)(11-20-2002)
- First 2003 IROC Driver's Announced: Two champions representing the Pennzoil World of Outlaws sprint car series, Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski, have accepted invitations to compete in the 2003 True Value International Race of Champions [IROC]. 2003 will mark the first time that two World of Outlaws representatives have competed in the same season. The 2002 champion, Steve Kinser, collected 20 "A" Feature wins on his way to capturing his 17th WoO title. Kinser's initial IROC invitation came in 1994. He was the first driver to be invited as a representative of short track racing, which proved positive when he astonished the racing world with a win in only his third start at Talladega Superspeedway. Kinser returned to IROC competition in 1995 and 1996, with 1995 producing his best result of eighth in the final points standing.
Despite missing five World of Outlaws events due to severe injuries, the 2001 WoO champion, Danny Lasoski managed to finish second to Steve Kinser in the 2002 title chase. The injuries also caused Lasoski to miss out on competing at the Brickyard in the True Value IROC finale. The traditional season opener will take place at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, Feb. 14, 2003. As previously announced, race-two will return the series to Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 5. The schedule for race-three and four will be confirmed within the next week. The True Value IROC team is scheduled to test at Daytona International Speedway on Tuesday, Nov. 19 through Thursday, Nov. 21 in preparation for the 2003 season. Veteran True Value IROC test drivers, Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Andy Hillenburg, along with 2003 competitors, Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski are scheduled to attend. The True Value IROC Series matches 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars, on Goodyear Eagle radial racing tires. The goal is to eliminate the mechanical advantages and to produce a winner determined solely on driver skill. The series consists of four 100-mile races at different racetracks with points awarded for finishing positions. At the end of the fourth race, the points are tallied and a champion of champions is named.(IROC PR), also I hear that due to the timing of Pontiac's departure from the series, the IROC cars will remain unchanged in 2003 and that IROC is actively pursuing a model change for 2004.(11-15-2002)
- IROC back at 'Dega in 2003: The International Race of Champions [IROC] will return to Talladega Superspeedway next season, track officials announced Monday. The IROC race, which will be held during the speedway's April Winston Cup race weekend, returns after a one-year absence. Next season will mark the 13th IROC event at the track since 1984. "We're thrilled with the return of the IROC series at Talladega," said Grant Lynch, the track's president. "Talladega Superspeedway's knack for delivering competitive races is a perfect fit for the IROC series and its group of world-class drivers. We are also thrilled for our fans who will get to watch one of the most action-packed hours in auto racing." IROC is a four-race series composed of 12 drivers from various forms of motorsports. Winston Cup driver Kevin Harvick won the 2002 IROC championship. In 2002, IROC races were held at Daytona, California, Chicagoland and Indianapolis.(ThatsRacin.com)(10-29-2002)
- IROC to be revamped? Promoters of the International Race of Champions [IROC] are looking at revamping the long-running series, which has become anything but a true test of the world's best drivers. They may even add a road race to the 2003 format, if they can find a track to race on. On Saturday, Winston Cup driver Dale Jarrett won the final series race of the year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a dull, 40-lap affair. "We'll be sitting down with a spreadsheet and exploring ways of adding some new elements to the series," said George Signore, who runs IROC with his brother Jay. "If we could find a road course that fits in with the driver's schedules, we'd do it in a heartbeat." When IROC started in 1974, it was run at Riverside International Raceway -- a 2.5-mile road course -- in California. It attracted drivers from all forms of racing, including Mark Donohue, Bobby Unser, Richard Petty, Bobby Allison and A. J. Foyt. The trend could change next year, however. "We'd like to diversify the series," Signore said. "If we can fit in with schedules and TV commitments, we could run at least one road race."(Detroit Free Press)(8-5-2002)
- IROC restrained: All International Race of Champions Series [IROC] drivers will be required to wear head-and-neck restraint devices during practice and races this season, said IROC's George Signore. The IROC rule will be the same as the NASCAR rule, with drivers choosing between the Hutchens Device and the HANS device. Five IROC drivers -- Buddy Lazier, Sam Hornish, Helio Castroneves, Danny Lasoski and Scott Sharp -- were at Daytona International Speedway testing on Tuesday, as were IROC test drivers Jim Sauter, Dick Trickle, Dave Marcis and Andy Hillenburg.(Daytona Beach News Journal)(2-6-2002)
|THE 2003 IROC LINEUP
stats thru 2002
|| Indy Racing League
||Indy Racing League
||Indy Racing League
||World of Outlaws
|THE 2003 IROC SCHEDULE
||Date & Time
||Date & Time
IROC TV SCHEDULE
Date/Day Start/End Race Network
Sunday, August 3, 2003 1:00p 2003 Race #4 Indianapolis ESPN
Sunday, August 3, 2003 6:00p 2003 Race #4 Indianapolis ESPN2
Sunday, August 10, 2003 3:00a 2003 Race #4 Indianapolis ESPN
Saturday, September 6, 2003 4:30a 2003 Race #4 Indianapolis ESPN2
(Please note that all dates and time are subject to change.)
ALL TIME IROC RACE WINNERS
Al Unser Jr., 11
Dale Earnhardt, 11
Mark Martin, 10
42 drivers have won an IROC race.(7-13-2003)