Unser subs for Goodyear at Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 27, 2001 - Two-time IROC champion Al Unser Jr. again will substitute for fellow Indy Racing Northern Light Series competitor Scott Goodyear in the final round of IROC XXV at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Goodyear ...

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 27, 2001 - Two-time IROC champion Al Unser Jr. again will substitute for fellow Indy Racing Northern Light Series competitor Scott Goodyear in the final round of IROC XXV at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Goodyear still is recovering from a lower-back fracture suffered in May during a crash in the Indianapolis 500. It is expected that Goodyear will be sidelined for another four weeks so the injury can continue to heal.

"Unfortunately, I'm going to miss the final IROC race at Indianapolis, and that's very disheartening," Goodyear said. "Any time you get a chance to race on the world's most famous track, it's something you don't want to pass up. It was a huge honor to be invited to drive in the IROC series this year. I was invited in 1993 and 1994 but couldn't accept the invitation due to scheduling, and now this year I could only compete in two of the four events.

"Hopefully, I'll get another chance at IROC in the future." Two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Unser replaced Goodyear in round three of this year's True Value IROC series in June at Michigan International Speedway, finishing second to former Indy Racing League champion Tony Stewart.

Unser, a veteran of 13 True Value IROC campaigns, would surpass the late Dale Earnhardt as the all-time IROC career victory leader with a win at Indianapolis, the 100th race in IROC history. Both drivers have 11 career IROC victories. A victory also would make Unser the first driver ever to win at Indianapolis in a stock car and Indy-style car.

The IROC car will be the third type of vehicle in which Unser has raced at the Speedway. He also has 14 career Indianapolis 500 starts and drove in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup race during the SAP United States Grand Prix in September 2000.

IROC at Indy, the final race of the four-race series that matches drivers from various forms of auto racing in equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, starts at 2 p.m. (EST) Aug. 4. Practice sessions will take place at noon and 3:15 p.m. Aug. 3.

Defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Bobby Labonte leads the tight True Value IROC standings with 44 points. 1999 Indianapolis 500 winner Kenny Brack is second at 43, with 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. and Stewart tied for third with 39.

The total purse for the series is $1,025,000 with $250,000 going to the champion, based on points.

-IRNLS/IMS-

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Series IROC
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bobby Labonte , Eddie Cheever , Al Unser Jr. , Scott Goodyear , Kenny Brack