Wayne Taylor draws ninth for IRCO race

SunTrust Driver Wayne Taylor to Start IROC Race from Ninth Position at Daytona Daytona Beach, Florida (February 15, 2006) -- The starting position line-up of drivers for the 30th running of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC)...

SunTrust Driver Wayne Taylor to Start IROC Race from Ninth Position at Daytona

Daytona Beach, Florida (February 15, 2006) -- The starting position line-up of drivers for the 30th running of the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series at the 2.5-mile Daytona tri-oval was held this morning. IROC rookie Wayne Taylor, 2005 Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Champion, drew the ninth starting spot and the No. 10 IROC chassis.

"Maybe that's a good sign that I will be driving the No. 10 dark blue IROC car. I think it's really good," said Taylor, who drives the blue No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley with the SunTrust Bank sunburst logo on the hood in Grand American competition.

"I'll start from ninth position, next to Tony Stewart. I think it's a nice starting place. In fact, I didn't want to be up front and I didn't want to be at the very back, so I think I'm in a really good position. Hopefully the guys behind will push me and I've got Tony on the right, so I'll just do whatever he does. If I can stay with him, I'll do whatever he does. If he turns left, I'll turn left. If he turns right, I'll turn right. We'll see how that goes," joked Taylor, a rookie in the Crown Royal IROC Series who has never raced in a front engine car, or on a superspeedway circuit.

Five-time IROC Series champion, Mark Martin, drew the enviable pole position. IRL Indy Car Series driver Scott Sharp will start next to the defending IROC Series champ on the front row. Max Papis, the only other Grand American Rolex Series regular, drew the sixth starting position. No qualifying is done for the IROC Series. Starting positions are placed solely by drawing numbers out of a Crown Royal bag.

Friday's IROC race kicks off the 2006 season of the invitation-only series, which features 12 of the best drivers in the world competing in identically prepared Pontiac Firebirds. Round two is scheduled for Texas Motor Speedway, April 7; Round three will feature a return to road racing for IROC at Daytona International Speedway for the first time since 1974; Round four will be the finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway, where the $1 million champion will be crowned.

Taylor and No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley co-driver, Max Angelelli, will split the driving duties with each competing in two races. Their combined points will account as a single entry, an IROC first.

-suntrustracing.com

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Series Grand-Am
Drivers Tony Stewart , Scott Sharp , Max Papis , Wayne Taylor , Max Angelelli , Mark Martin