NEWS FROM TRUE VALUE FIREBIRD IROC FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 1997 INDIANAPOLIS TO HOST 1998 TRUE VALUE FIREBIRD IROC RACE Tinton Falls, N.J. - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the concluding...
NEWS FROM TRUE VALUE FIREBIRD IROC
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 24, 1997
INDIANAPOLIS TO HOST 1998 TRUE VALUE FIREBIRD IROC RACE
Tinton Falls, N.J. - The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host the concluding event of the 1998 True Value Firebird International Race of Champions, joining existing venues Daytona, California and Michigan on the four-race schedule announced today.
The 100-mile IROC at Indianapolis is scheduled for Friday, July 31, the day prior to the fifth running of the Brickyard 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race. It will be IROC's debut event on the 2.5-mile oval and just the third different series to compete at the Speedway, along with NASCAR and the Indy Racing League's Indianapolis 500.
The 22nd IROC series opens February 13, at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Florida. Round two is set for May 2 at California Speedway, in Fontana, California. The third event will be June 13 at Michigan Speedway, in Brooklyn, Michigan.
IROC again will match 12 of the world's best drivers, representing different types of motorsports including NASCAR, IRL, CART and road racing, in equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Am equipped with Goodyear Eagle radial tires. Winston Cup star Mark Martin won two races en route to a record third IROC title in 1997 and, by tradition, received an automatic invitation to defend his championship. The other 11 drivers, invited by the IROC organizers, will be announced in the near future and will compete for more than $750,000 in prize money.
"We are very excited to join with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in announcing this historic new event," said IROC President Jay Signore from series headquarters here. "Over the last two decades, IROC has created a level playing field on which many of the world's greatest drivers have demonstrated their skills. So, it is appropriate to bring this unique racing concept to the world's most famous racetrack. IROC looks forward to working with the Speedway to give the fans a great show." -more- "The IROC series will bring great added value to our fans at the Brickyard 400 by having 12 of the best drivers in the world competing on our track," said IMS President Tony George. "We are pleased to welcome IROC to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway."
The IROC cars were used for Goodyear's first-ever stock car tire test at Indianapolis in April 1992. IROC test drivers Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle completed more than 700 miles over three days with a top lap speed average of 155 mph. Signore said the IROC Firebirds will conduct extensive additional testing in preparation for the 40-lap contest.
Daytona's 2.5-mile tri-oval is IROC's traditional opening venue. The 100-mile, 40-lap run will be the series' 18th appearance at the "World Center of Racing." Al Unser, Jr. earned his first victory on the Daytona oval last February.
Fontana's two-mile oval will host the series for the second consecutive year. Martin will be the defending winner of the 100-mile, 50-lap chase.
Michigan's two-mile superspeedway will be the location for a record 24th IROC race, again for a 100-mile, 50-lap distance. Randy LaJoie got his first IROC victory there last July.
ABC Sports will again provide exclusive coverage of IROC on a delayed basis.
IROC is sponsored by True Value Hardware Stores; Pontiac division of General Motors Corp.; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; DuPont Automotive Refinishes; and AC Delco Rapidfire spark plugs and Freedom batteries.