DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Friday, Feb. 11, 2000 -- Mark Dismore and Greg Ray continued to practice in True Value IROC Series stock cars Feb. 11 at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for their debut in racing's all-star series. Dismore ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Friday, Feb. 11, 2000 -- Mark Dismore and Greg Ray continued to practice in True Value IROC Series stock cars Feb. 11 at Daytona International Speedway in preparation for their debut in racing's all-star series.
Dismore briefly tested one of the IROC Pontiacs Feb. 8 before leaving for a test session with Kelley Racing, for which he competes in the Northern Light Indy Racing Series. He returned to the high-banked, 2.5-mile oval at Daytona for more laps with Ray and IROC test driver Jim Sauter. "I've been out of (the IROC cars) for a few days, but it's good to be back," Dismore said. "Definitely different."
Ray, Dismore and Sauter practiced three-abreast racing in anticipation for the close competition that has become the hallmark of IROC, which pits 12 of the world's best drivers in identically prepared stock cars.
"You're doing OK as long as the right hand knows what the left hand is doing," Dismore said about running at close quarters with two other cars. "I was the meat in the sandwich there for a while, then I ran on top. You're just hoping the guy on the bottom gives the guy in the middle some room."
Ray and Dismore are doing an excellent job of learning the subtleties of driving a 3,500-pound stock car on a superspeedway, Sauter said. Dismore and Ray are two of the three Indy Racing drivers in the 12-competitor field. 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr. also will represent the Northern Light Indy Racing Series in IROC.
It's the first time that more than two Indy Racing League drivers will participate in the True Value IROC series in one season.
Other competitors in the four-event series are NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers Jeff Burton, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Rusty Wallace. Dale Earnhardt is the defending series champion.
The first round of the series, at Daytona, will be televised at 5 p.m. (EDT) March 12 on ABC. The final round of the series is Aug. 4 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.