Talladega round two pre-race notes

True Value IROC 27 Race Two Talladega Superspeedway Saturday, April 5, 2003 Initial Broadcast: ESPN - Saturday, April 12, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time * Track - Talladega Superspeedway, 2.66-mile high-banked tri-oval. * Distance - 101.08 miles,...

True Value IROC 27 Race Two
Talladega Superspeedway
Saturday, April 5, 2003

Initial Broadcast: ESPN - Saturday, April 12, 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time

* Track - Talladega Superspeedway, 2.66-mile high-banked tri-oval.

* Distance - 101.08 miles, 38 laps (Yellow fag laps do not count.) No pit stop required.

* Line Up - Starting order is determined by inverting the Daytona race-one finishing order. Car numbers reflect position in the points standing. The car color is determined by draw.

* This will be the 13th IROC race at Talladega Superspeedway and the 106th IROC race.

* Of the 12 IROC races contested at Talladega, three races have been won by open wheel drivers - Al Unser Jr. (1993, 1996) and Steve Kinser (1994).

* Talladega IROC wins by division: NASCAR Winston Cup (9), CART (2), World of Outlaws (1).

* Multiple Talladega IROC race winners: Dale Earnhardt (1990, 1995, 1999), Al Unser, Jr. (1993, 1996), Bobby Labonte (2000, 2001).

* Consecutive Talladega IROC wins: Bobby Labonte (2000, 2001).

* Talladega Race winners from the pole: None

* Talladega race winners starting from the last position (12th): Dale Earnhardt, True Value IROC 23, April 24, 1999.

* Talladega race winners leading start to finish: None

* Fastest IROC race: Talladega, 191.722 MPH, 31 min., 38 sec., Davey Allison, May 2, 1992, IROC 16.

* Talladega Lead Change Record: 18 among 7 drivers, IROC 17, 1993.

* Purse Total - $1,205,000 with $250,000 awarded to the Championship based on points standings at the end of the fourth race.

Quick Quotes:

Mark Martin: (Race one, Daytona winner about starting last at Talladega):

"I don't think starting position matters at all. In fact, it seems like starting in the back is a good thing for some reason. That sounds crazy, but with the way the car are and the track is, if you start in the front you are probably going to most definitely get shuffled back. If you start in the back you will probably shuffle forward and then you have to figure out some way to stay there. The thing for sure is that there will be a lot of movement in the pack and throughout the race. A lot more movement than you saw at Daytona."

Felipe Giaffone:

"I'm really looking forward to go to Talladega. I haven't been there but for sure it is a big race for NASCAR. I had a great time in Daytona and I know it will be the same in Talladega. These big tracks are very hard to the IRL drivers because the way you draft with the Stock cars is completely different. I learned a lot in Daytona but I still need much more race time with these cars. I hope to be able to bring the car home in a better spot for the Talladega race."

Ryan Newman:

"I look forward to the race at Talladega because it is always proven to be a close race. The cars don't have to handle like they do in Daytona, so it will be a bit of a different race. I look forward to drafting with Helio again."

Greg Biffle:

"I've been looking forward to the IROC race in Talladega ever since they threw the checkered flag in the first one at Daytona. I had a great time in the race and I learned a lot about how the cars work in traffic. I started last in Daytona, which made it a little tougher to get to the front. This time I'll be starting fifth, and I'm hoping I'll be competing for the win in the closing laps."

Sam Hornish Jr.:

"I'm figuring Talladega will be a little bit like Daytona. I'm going to get a couple days of practice so hopefully it'll be able to tell me enough about the racetrack. Talladega is going to be mostly about the draft. I'll be able to get the racetrack dialed with the first session that I get. It's pretty much going to be like Daytona as far as everybody being in a pack all the way until the end, and try not to get out of the draft at all."

Danny Lasoski:

"I've been ready to go to Talladega since I finished third at Daytona. With a year of IROC under my belt I feel like I have so much more confidence than I did a year ago. Daytona was a pretty good example of that. I knew so much more compared to last year. I was ready for some of the moves people tried to put on me in the draft, and then there were situations where I was ready to make some moves of my own.

"The place is huge. It's just wide open. Daytona seemed to be a little bit more of a handling race track, but Talladega is just pedal down. The only Outlaw guy to ever win an IROC race did it at Talladega. That was Steve Kinser, and I know he's back this year looking to do the same. But he's not going to be the only Outlaw guy looking to win, I can tell you that."

Jimmie Johnson:

"Daytona was one of the most intensive races I've had down there during SpeedWeeks with all the bumping and banging and hard racing that went on. I would imagine Talladega is going to be another one of those races. I'm looking forward to it. We had a strong run in the first IROC race and hopefully I'll be in a car other than the pink one and we'll have a good day."

Mike Bliss:

"I am really looking forward to going to Talladega for the second race of the IROC series. As a rookie, I felt like I learned a lot in the first race at Daytona especially after racing with some of the IROC veterans like Kevin Harvick and Mark Martin. At Daytona, near the end of the race, my car just got a little too tight for me to be competitive. I think with as big and wide open as Talladega is, that should not be a problem (the car changing) this time around."

Steve Kinser:

"I'm really looking forward to Talladega. I had some success there winning the IROC race and after having such a good time at Daytona, I'm ready for Talladega."

Kevin Harvick:

"Talladega will be a lot like Daytona, but closer. Handling of the cars will not come into play as much as Daytona, it will be all aero. Hopefully I'll be in the right spot when we come to the checkered. The last race I was leading with seven to go, then back to 12th with five to go. You have to make sure you are in the right spot, but it's hard to know when and when not to make the move. There is so much shuffling around that goes on, just like Daytona, but probably even more at Talladega."

-iroc-

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About this article
Series IROC
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Ryan Newman , Felipe Giaffone , Al Unser Jr. , Jimmie Johnson , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Mike Bliss , Sam Hornish Jr. , Mark Martin , Al Unser