HARRISBURG, N.C. - Jeff Gordon, 2001 NASCAR Winston Cup champion, will not participate in the 2002 IROC series. The four-time Winston Cup champion cited several factors in his decision.

"It's definitely an honor to be recognized by IROC and compete against an elite group of drivers," said Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet. "I'll never forget the first invitation I received from IROC in 1995. It was very exciting.

"Unfortunately, due to the demands on my time with the number of races on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule and commitments to my sponsors, in addition to my increased involvement with the No. 24 and No. 48 teams, I have to decline the invitation (to participate in the 2002 IROC series).

"This decision was made after lengthy discussions with my wife, my team and Rick Hendrick."