IRL: Lazier Chicagoland preview

Lazier at Chicagoland for Round Three of IROC Joliet, Ill. - 2000 Indy Racing League champion Buddy Lazier kicked off a busy week at Chicagoland Speedway for practice sessions in preparation for Round Three of the True Value International Race...

Lazier at Chicagoland for Round Three of IROC

Joliet, Ill. - 2000 Indy Racing League champion Buddy Lazier kicked off a busy week at Chicagoland Speedway for practice sessions in preparation for Round Three of the True Value International Race of Champions (IROC) Saturday, July 13.

Lazier, a second-year veteran of IROC, spent most of Tuesday and Thursday afternoon driving one of the equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Am around the 1.5-mile tri-oval. After just a few laps, the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner settled in and adapted to the groove.

"I went out and was just learning my way around the track in this style car, followed a few guys for a while, but mainly ran a ton of laps on my own, just to get a good feel and I did get a good feel," Lazier said. "I ran over 80-laps. Me, and the car, were faster at the end of those 80-laps than we were at the beginning of the run."

Lazier hopes to carry the momentum from this week's practice sessions into the 67-lap race. Thus far, Lazier's season consists of a 10th place finish at Daytona and ninth at California. He is currently 12th and last place in the series point standings, therefore Lazier will start on the pole in the rose Pontiac Firebird Trans Am.

"Starting on the pole doesn't necessarily give me an advantage because it is all about the draft. Practice has gone well this week so I just have to adapt to the car that was drawn for me. As competitors, we all want to compete but it is more about having fun. NASCAR drivers have more familiarity but Indy Racing League drivers do a respectable job. I guarantee it will be a good race."

The 100-mile, 67-lap event will begin at 12:45 pm (CDT) July 13. The race will be broadcast on the same day at 3:00 pm (EDT) on ESPN.

The invitation-only True Value IROC Series allows twelve championship drivers to battle in equally prepared stock cars. The starting order is determined by reverse order of point standings. The car number is a reflection of the current point standings. Cars are assigned by a blind draw just before each of the four events.

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Series IndyCar , IROC
Drivers Buddy Lazier