True Value IROC 26 Race One
Daytona International Speedway
Friday, Feb. 15, 2002
The following is the True Value IROC starting lineup for Friday's 40 lap, 100 mile race. The starting lineup and car colors were determined by a blind draw, Wednesday, Feb. 13. The start time is 11 a.m. Eastern. <pre> Pos. No. Color Driver Hometown Representing 1 1 Gold Scott Sharp Indianapolis Indy Racing League 2 2 White Danny Lasoski Dover, Mo. World of Outlaws 3 3 Dark Blue Sterling Marlin Columbia, Tenn. NASCAR Winston Cup 4 4 Dark Orange Helio Castroneves Miami Indy Racing League 5 5 Light Orange Kevin Harvick Winston-Salem, N.C. NASCAR Busch Series 6 6 Yellow Al Unser Jr. Albuquerque, N.M. Indy Racing League 7 7 Light Blue Buddy Lazier Vail, Colo. Indy Racing League 8 8 Silver Bobby Labonte Trinity, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup 9 9 Aqua Dale Jarrett Conover, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup 10 10 Black Tony Stewart Cornelius, N.C. NASCAR Winston Cup 11 11 Medium Blue Jack Sprague Spring Lake, Mich. NASCAR Truck Series 12 12 Green Sam Hornish Jr. Defiance, Ohio Indy Racing League
Broadcast: ESPN - Saturday, Feb. 16, noon Eastern </pre> True Value IROC Driver Quotes
Scott Sharp #"Hopefully it (pole position) will last a little longer than Indianapolis ('01 Indy 500), I'm sure it will. Basically it's a fun event to be part of. I don't know how long I will last up there before I get shuffled out by the NASCAR drivers. One thing for sure is that I'm going to learn a ton. I spent a fair amount of time in the car this week and feel pretty comfortable. Hopefully as the race goes along I can fight my way through the pack and go for a good finish. I don't think being on the pole is that important at all. The cars are so equal and the draft plays such a huge part. And the draft is where the NASCAR drivers have a big advantage."
"When I first got the call from Barb Signore at IROC I thought she was joking with me. I kept on saying, 'Who's playing a joke on me.' But when I finally realized it wasn't a joke and my feet hit the ground I thanked her endlessly. I dreamed about racing in IROC as long as I can remember. It's so hard to describe my excitement level and what it means to compete against all of these great racers. I am honored to represent all of dirt track racing.
"When you talk about a true IROC rookie, they have one in me. I'm doing everything I can to get ready for the opener. I'll be practicing at least six or seven times in the IROC car. I went to Andy Hillenburg's (IROC test driver) stock car school and obviously I've had some long discussions with Tony (Stewart). He's giving me some pointers and I'm sure we'll work well togetherat least up until the last lap. He knows me well enough that if we're close at the end, I'm going for it. We're both too competitive to back off for either one of us."
"It's fun for me. It's nice to go out and compete against other drivers from different disciplines, and this year I get the added bonus of racing with my World of Outlaws driver Danny Lasoski. I'll probably have more fun with the series this year because I'll be able to watch Danny and see the transitions that he's going to have to make. I'll enjoy being along there with him so that he can ask me questions and I can give him advice. I think that's just going to make this year's series a lot of fun."
"My starting spot (7th) could be better and could be worse. I'm right in the middle and that's fine. I couldn't be more thrilled than to compete again in this series. Being that it's my second year I think that's going to help me. Until last year I never competed in anything that had fenders. It's an honor to be here and you want to race hard because you want the bragging rights. But at the end of the day, it's all about fun and making sure we take care of one another."
"It's an honor to be invited to be in the IROC series again. I enjoyed my first year running in it and I'm looking forward to another good season. It's pretty cool to race with drivers from other series. You get to meet some different guys and see their different driving styles."
"Obviously, this Daytona has a lot of firsts in store for me. IROC is one of those firsts. I'm really looking forward to running the IROC race. To get the chance to run on an even playing field with other series' greats is really cool. Plus, it gives me another opportunity to beat and bang with some of the Cup guys."
"IROC is something I've always enjoyed being part of and am proud to participate in. It's a rare opportunity to be able to compete against the best drivers from other forms of motorsports. One of the things I like best about IROC is that although there is a points battle for the title, it gives me a chance to go out, have fun and race for the win. My first win in the IROC series last year at Daytona was a lot of fun and is something I will always be very proud of."
"Well it's exciting to be among an elite group of people in the IROC Series. To be invited back after winning the championship, and have the possibility of defending it, is an honor.
"Since being asked to join the IROC Series, it seems I have had a pretty good amount of success so of course it really is neat to be able to run in it. Last year we were able to win the championship and win two races. Two out of four is a pretty good average and when things aren't going so well for you in your regular car, it sure does lift your spirits and make your year pretty good. It also reminds you that you still remember how to race. So needless to say, I really enjoy it and can't wait to get going again."
"This is great. All racers dream of competing in IROC and competing against the best in the world. This is the best and the closest cars can get setup wise. I'm starting on the last row and have no place to go but forward. I'm really looking forward to a good race."
Al Unser Jr.
"I'll tell you this, it's been too long since the last IROC championship (1988) and to win it so many years later would mean everything to me. No one guy stands out in IROC. Everyone who races in this series is tough because they're champions. When you get 12 champions together like that, all hell breaks loose.
"I watched my father and uncle Bobby race in IROC and as a kid I thought it would be really neat if someday I would get an opportunity to run IROC. I was fortunate enough to have that day come in 1986 and what can I say. It's an honor to just be invited to IROC because of what it stands for and all of the great champions who have raced in the series since its inception. And then to win in IROC is icing on the cake, just makes it more special. Barbara and Jay Signore run a great outfit. And the mechanics have also been great to work with. You know, there are several mechanics who have been involved in all of the times I've run the series. They're just a wonderful group of people to be involved with and they make it fun. Anytime they've invited me to IROC, I accepted it because it's an honor to get out there and run these cars."
Daytona IROC Facts
* This will be the 22nd IROC race at Daytona International Speedway and the 21st on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. The first IROC race at Daytona (2/14/74) was on the 3.81-mile road course. The winner was Mark Donohue.
* Of the 20 IROC oval races contested at Daytona, only five have been won by a non-NASCAR driver - Bobby Unser (1975), Mario Andretti (1978), Al Unser (1986), Scott Pruett (1991) and Al Unser Jr. (1997).
* Daytona IROC wins by division: NASCAR (15), CART (3), USAC (1), SCCA (1) and FIA (1).
* Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott are the only two drivers with multiple IROC wins at Daytona. Earnhardt won six times -- '92, '94, '95, '96, '99 and '00. Elliott won twice - '88 and '93.
* Daytona True Value IROC events have been won four times from the pole position: Mark Donohue in '74, Bill Elliott in '88 (led start to finish) and Dale Earnhardt in '94 and 2000.
* Daytona IROC race record: 187.793 mph, 31 minutes, 57 seconds, Dale Earnhardt, IROC 20, 2/16/96.
* Dale Jarrett's win last year at Daytona was his first career IROC win.
* The only rain shortened event in IROC history was at Daytona -- IROC 22, 2/13/98, winner-Jeff Gordon. <pre> Daytona True Value IROC Winners
1974 Mark Donohue, SCCA* 1992 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1975 Bobby Unser, USAC 1993 Bill Elliott, NASCAR 1976 Benny Parsons, NASCAR 1994 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1977 Cale Yarborough, NASCAR 1995 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1978 Mario Andretti, FIA 1996 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1985 Darrell Waltrip, NASCAR 1997 Al Unser Jr., CART 1986 Al Unser, CART 1998 Jeff Gordon, NASCAR 1987 Geoff Bodine, NASCAR 1999 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1988 Bill Elliott, NASCAR 2000 Dale Earnhardt, NASCAR 1989 Rusty Wallace, NASCAR 2001 Dale Jarrett, NASCAR 1991 Scott Pruett, CART </pre> Note: Daytona did not host an IROC event in 1979, 1980, 1984 and 1990. *1974 event contested on 3.81-mile road course; all other races on 2.5-mile oval