Atlanta driver line-up, facts

Crown Royal International Race of Champions Race Four Championship Finale - Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday, October 30, 2004 The following is the Crown Royal IROC starting lineup for Saturday's 65-lap, 100.1-mile championship finale. The...

Crown Royal International Race of Champions
Race Four Championship Finale - Atlanta Motor Speedway
Saturday, October 30, 2004

The following is the Crown Royal IROC starting lineup for Saturday's 65-lap, 100.1-mile championship finale. The start time is 3:45 p.m. EST and will be same-day broadcast on Speed Channel, at 8:00 p.m. EST.

Race Four Line Up - Inversion of the point standings: The driver with the most points will start last and the driver having the least amount of points will start on the pole. The field of 12 starts two abreast, six rows.

<pre> Line Up

Grid CAR# Driver                Residence               Representing            Points
1.   80   J. J. Yeley           Indianapolis, IN        USAC                    17
2.    1   Scott Dixon           Indianapolis, IN        IRL IndyCar Series      19
3.   11   Steve Kinser          Bloomington, IN         World of Outlaws        20
4.   24   Travis Kvapil         Mooresville, N.C.       NASCAR Craftsman Truck  21
5.   03   Helio Castroneves     Miami, FL               IRL IndyCar Series      24
6.    8   Scott Sharp           Jupiter, FL             IRL IndyCar Series      27
7.   20   Danny Lasoski         Dover, MO               World of Outlaws        37
8.   97   Kurt Busch            Concord, N.C.           NASCAR NEXTEL Cup       39
9.   29   Kevin Harvick         Winston-Salem, N.C.     NASCAR NEXTEL Cup       43
10.  48   Jimmie Johnson        Mooresville, N.C.       NASCAR NEXTEL Cup       46
11.  17   Matt Kenseth          Mooresville, N.C.       NASCAR NEXTEL Cup       46
12.  12   Ryan Newman           Mooresville, NC         NASCAR NEXTEL Cup       50

</pre> Atlanta IROC Facts

Inaugural One Million-Dollar Championship: Atlanta Motor Speedway will host the inaugural Crown Royal IROC finale, which will determine the first one million dollar championship prize in the history of the series.

First event since reconfiguration: Atlanta Motor Speedway hosted the oval finals in IROC VI (1979) and IROC VII (1980), in the final two seasons of the first running of the series (1973-1980).

During the 1979 and 1980 seasons, the four-race IROC format was changed, with special qualifying races being staged for the NASCAR, Indy Car and road racing drivers. The first four finishers in each advanced to two final contests.

NASCAR driver Neil Bonnett won the first oval final held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 17, 1979 and NASCAR's Bobby Allison won the following season finale on March 15, 1980.

Track Configuration - 1.54-mile, quad-oval.

Starting Time: 3:45 p.m. EST

Television Broadcast: Speed Channel, same-day broadcast at 8:00 p.m. EST

Distance - 100.1 miles, 65 laps (Yellow flag laps do not count.) No pit stop required.

112th IROC Series Race

The Shootout - New for the 2004 Crown Royal IROC Series is the shootout segment built into the final portion of each event.

The purpose of this format change is to heighten the level of competition within each race. Awarding bonus points for the first three positions adds incentive to get to the front of the pack during the first segment of the race.

The lap number ending the first segment will be determined and announced by Crown Royal IROC officials after race conditions have been accessed during race week testing.

A competition yellow will signal the realignment of the field.

The Incentive: The top three positions are awarded bonus point of 3, 2, and 1, respectively.

The Leader's Perk: The leader will restart in a single row ahead of the remainder of the field.

Lane Choice: Positions two through 12 will realign in double file rows. Each driver, one-by-one in ascending order, will choose to restart in either the inside lane or outside lane.

Example: If the driver in the 2nd position chooses to restart in the outside lane, the driver in 3rd position can either go to the inside of 2nd position, forming row one behind the leader, or go behind 2nd position in the outside lane. If the driver in 3rd position chooses to restart in the outside lane, behind the driver in 2nd position, the driver in 4th position can choose to move all the way up to the inside of the first row behind the leader.

The level of advantage regarding lane choice varies from venue to venue. Giving the driver lane choice adds another dimension of individual strategy to the event.

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 that two or more drivers are tied at the finish line, the points for finishing positions will be added together and divided among the tying drivers.

* 2004 Crown Royal IROC cars - New for the 2004 Crown Royal IROC Series, the car numbers and colors are assigned at the start of the season and will remain with the driver throughout the four-race season. Numbers and colors will simulate the driver's native series team.

* Blind Draw - Racecar assignments are determined by a blind draw - Out of the stable of Crown Royal IROC Cars brought to the event 12 will be selected based on their equivalence in speed and performance during pre-race testing. The cars are identified and drawn for by chassis numbers.

* Purse Total - $1.9 million with $1,000,000 awarded to the Champion based on points standings at the end of the fourth race.

What Are Their Chances?

The possibilities range in the millions when considering the math equation called a factorial -- in this case -- a 12 factorial. There are 12 drivers and 12 possible finishing orders among each one of them, never-mind the notion of adding bonus points into the mix.

What we do know is seven drivers are eligible to win the first million-dollar championship. Only one has to win the race to have any chance at all, and the closer to the top, the more numerous the possibilities become.

Below is a stab at sorting through some of the possible scenarios both, in brief, and a more detailed explanation, for the "nuts and bolts" type.

Championship Contenders: Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Danny Lasoski, and Scott Sharp.

1. Ryan Newman: (50 Points) (1.75 avg.)
Brief: If Newman wins the race, he wins the championship.

Winning the race would secure the championship for Newman. A race win would pay him 21-points, adding to his existing 50-points for a total of 71-points. Even if Kenseth, or Johnson, who are tied with 46-points, were to finish second and collect all of the possible bonus points, they would tie Newman at 71-points, but lose by the tiebreaker of best average finish over all four races. Without considering bonus points, if Kenseth, or Johnson, should win the race and Newman finish second; again, they would tie at 67 points and award the championship to Newman via the tiebreaker.

2. Jimmie Johnson: (46 Points) (2.75 avg.)
Brief: A win does not secure Johnson the championship if Newman finishes second.

Without considering bonus points, winning the race does not secure the championship for Johnson. A win would give Johnson 67 total points (21 + 46). If Newman finishes second, he'll tie Johnson with 67 points and win by the tiebreaker. Johnson needs Newman to finish at least two positions behind him. The possibility of bonus points changes everything. Johnson doesn't have to win the race as long as he finishes far enough ahead of the championship contenders.

3. Matt Kenseth: (46 Points) (4 avg.)
Brief: Same as Johnson's scenario for Kenseth, with Johnson as an added threat in the case of a tie.

Kenseth is tied with Johnson at 46-points, but trails Johnson in the tie breaking average finish category. The scenario is the same for Kenseth as it is for Johnson. Kenseth needs Newman at least two positions behind him at the finish. However, Kenseth has Johnson and the possibility of a tie in points, and the tiebreaker would go to Johnson.

4. Kevin Harvick: (43 Points) (3.5 avg.)
Brief: Harvick needs Newman at least three positions behind him.

A win would garner Harvick 64-points, a million dollars and a 2nd Championship, but only if Newman places no better than fourth. Johnson, and, or, Kenseth can follow Harvick across the stripe for second place without snatching the crown.

5. Kurt Busch: (39 Points) (4 avg.)
Brief: Harvick needs to be at least two positions behind Busch, Kenseth and Johnson, at least three positions back and Newman five positions behind Busch.

60-points in total with a win would earn Busch a repeat championship, if the following drivers finish no better than the positions listed: Harvick 3rd; Johnson 4th; Kenseth 3rd (Kenseth would tie Busch with 60-points but Busch would win via the tiebreaker.) Newman 6th. A few bonus points would better his chances.

6. Danny Lasoski: (37 Points) (5.75)
Brief: Lasoski needs the points leaders to finish no better than fifth.

58-points for the win would earn Lasoski the championship if the following drivers finish no better than the positions listed: Busch 2nd; Harvick 3rd; Johnson 5th, Kenseth 5th; Newman 8th. Lasoski needs bonus points and a few non-championship contenders between himself and Newman.

7. Scott Sharp: (27 Points) (5.25)
Brief: Sharp has to win, collect as many bonus points as possible, which gives him a mathematical chance.

Sharp needs to win and collect bonus points. Gaining everything possible he would top out at 56-points and could win the championship, if the following drivers finish no better than the position listed: Lasoski 2nd, Busch 3rd, Harvick 5th, Johnson 6th, Kenseth 6th, and Newman 10th.

-iroc-

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