For Immediate Release IROC ADDS TWO IRL DRIVERS TO 1998 RACE ROSTER INDIANAPOLIS, September 23, 1997 -- Two drivers from the Indy Racing League will be included among the 12 spots in The International Race of Champions (IROC) series in...
For Immediate Release
IROC ADDS TWO IRL DRIVERS TO 1998 RACE ROSTER
INDIANAPOLIS, September 23, 1997 -- Two drivers from the Indy Racing League will be included among the 12 spots in The International Race of Champions (IROC) series in 1998, it was announced today by Indianapolis Motor Speedway President Tony George and IROC President Jay Signore. "The inclusion of our drivers in the International Race of Champions series will allow them to compete with some of the world's-best in the 1998 IROC season, and do well," George said. The Indy Racing League, founded by George, is an open-wheel racing series for Indianapolis- style cars with emphasis on oval track racing. The IRL, in only its second year of competition, introduced a new generation of chassis and engines at its opening race at Walt Disney World Speedway in January. The league's ten-race 1996-97 season includes the Memorial Holiday classic, the Indianapolis 500. Leo Mehl, Executive Director of the IRL, commented on the inclusion of the IRL drivers in the IROC series. "Our drivers are oval specialists and I have no doubt that they can compete with anybody out there. Since all of our races are on ovals, from high-banked to low-banked ovals, the only thing our drivers will really have to learn about is the cars." The league has produced eight different winners in nine races so far in the 1996-97 season. Drivers who have recorded victories are: Scott Sharp, Richie Hearn, Eddie Cheever, Jr., Jim Guthrie, Arie Luyendyk (2), Tony Stewart, Buddy Lazier, and Robbie Buhl. Tony Stewart leads Davey Hamilton, 254-244 in driver points going into the season-closing Las Vegas 500k Oct. 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The True Value Firebird IROC series is comprised of 12 top race drivers representing NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Busch Grand National series, CART and the SCCA Trans-Am Series. Drivers are given identically prepared IROC Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams shod on Goodyear Eagle radial tires, with equal 350 cubic-inch Pontiac engines. The International Race of Champions series was born in 1973 and its list of champions includes; Bobby Unser, A.J. Foyt, Al Unser, Mario Andretti, Al Unser, Jr., Terry Labonte, Dale Earnhardt, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Rudd, Davey Allison and 1997 Champion Mark Martin.
Media Contacts: Mai Lindstrom, IMS/IRL Public Relations Director, 317/484-6780 Lisa Sommers, Public Relations Manager