Daytona preview and driver lineup

Daytona, February 16-In a tradition that dates back 24 years to the infancy of racing's most colorful series, Dale Earnhardt, representing the NASCAR, Winston Cup series, drew the powder blue ...

Daytona, February 16-In a tradition that dates back 24 years to the infancy of racing's most colorful series, Dale Earnhardt, representing the NASCAR, Winston Cup series, drew the powder blue #1 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am in today's blind drawing.

Directed by True Value IROC racing officials, the drawing, held today in advance of Friday's 2:00 p.m. race at Daytona, served as a commencement ceremony for the 24th True Value International Race of Champions (IROC). During the ceremony, drivers received their Daytona starting positions and Daytona race car colors.

Earnhardt was among twelve world-class drivers representing the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Grand National Series and Indy Racing League. He was the first of the drivers to randomly draw his position for Friday's race. After selecting the pole position Earnhardt , winner of last year's True Value IROC, commented, "I look forward to doing it again. IROC is always a great race and great tune-up."

Following the lottery for starting position, 12 different-colored, yet identically prepared, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am racecars were distributed to each driver. Drivers were randomly assigned individual colors as scale model garage doors opened, unveiling miniature versions of the real True Value IROC racing machines.

The twelve drivers' starting positions, and car colors for the first race at Daytona are as follows:

Position      Color              Driver             Representing
#1            Powder Blue        Dale Earnhardt     NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#2            Red                Tony Stewart       NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#3            Dark Green         Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR BUSCH Grand National Series
#4            Yellow             Eddie Cheever Jr.  Indy Racing League      
#5            Orange             Bobby Labonte      NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#6            Purple             Jeff Gordon        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#7            Aqua               Greg Ray           Indy Racing League
#8            White              Mark Dismore       Indy Racing League
#9            Medium Blue        Mark Martin        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#10           Lime Green         Dale Jarrett       NASCAR Winston Cup Series          
#11           Cream              Jeff Burton        NASCAR Winston Cup Series
#12           Dark Blue          Rusty Wallace      NASCAR Winston Cup Series

The True Value IROC series features 12 of the world's top drivers from different types of racing, placed in identically prepared race cars, in a race with no pit stops, no qualifying and no driver set-up of the cars. The 2000 roster includes the finest Winston Cup, Busch and Indy Racing League drivers competing at races at the Daytona, Talladega, Michigan and Indianapolis Motor Speedways.

True Value is the world's largest hardware and home center retailer with more than 5,500 locations worldwide, representing annual retail sales of more than $14 billion. In addition to its store-within-a-store concepts, Just Ask Rental, Tru-Gardens, True Value Paint Shop, and Power Place Outdoor Power Equipment, True Value also offers its own nationally recognized and awarded paint lines, E-Z Kare and Weatherall. True

Value's involvement with the sport of racing includes a 16-year history with IROC as well as involvement with NASCAR. Additional information on True Value and individual True Value locations is available at www.truevalue.com.

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Series IROC
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Greg Ray , Eddie Cheever , Mark Dismore , Mark Martin