Tinton Falls, NJ - Just ask the current CART points leader, Kenny Brack what he thinks about self-doubt and he'll tell you it is a self-imposed obstacle to be traversed. He believes wholeheartedly that nothing is impossible if you try hard enough.
Tinton Falls, NJ - Just ask the current CART points leader, Kenny Brack what he thinks about self-doubt and he'll tell you it is a self-imposed obstacle to be traversed. He believes wholeheartedly that nothing is impossible if you try hard enough. Trying hard and focused determination is what won Brack the 1998 Indy Racing League Championship, the 1999 Indy 500, the 2000 CART Rookie of the Year award, two CART wins to date in 2001, and his second chance at the True Value IROC championship -- all of this accomplished in less than four-years after arriving in the United States.
Brack is a racer's racer. He doesn't derive gratification from being a part of one particular style of racing, or series; his sense of success comes from being competitive and winning, no matter what the classification. During his formative years in Europe, after struggling with teams on limited budgets, he decided he would only compete in a series if he could have the best cars available; he did not want his abilities skewed by inferior equipment. His strategy paid off with numerous wins and championships, which led to offers and advancements. He continued to employ this strategy, which ultimately led him to F1 testing.
In 1997 he decided to check out the auto racing scene in the United States and landed a ride with Galles Racing in the newly formed Indy Racing League. He led nearly half the races he competed in without prior oval track experience. In 1998 he drove for two-time IROC champion, A.J. Foyt and won the IRL championship, resulting in an invitation to compete in the 1999 True Value IROC series. Brack said, "A.J. is the kind of driver who knows the importance of versatility and being successful in many different forms of racing, so he let me do it."
The challenge was irresistible to Brack. Although down on experience in stock cars, he would go to school on the race track among NASCAR's best; Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton. He would have equal equipment and be on the same learning curve as Eddie Cheever Jr., Greg Moore and Adrian Fernandez, all open wheel rookies to the series.
Brack's sixth place finish in the 1999 series was a victory as far as he was concerned. He finished best among his fellow open wheel competitors, and took good notes on the experience. "In my first year (1999) I had to learn everything, all the big stuff, and now in my second year, I am learning all the small stuff, the tricks, and I am fine tuning my driving. That's the way I work; the first year I just absorb everything and the second year I feel I can really be competitive," said Brack.
Going into the championship deciding 2001True Value IROC finale at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Brack sits one point behind the 2000 NASCAR Brickyard 400 winner and defending Winston Cup champion, Bobby Labonte. "To me, IROC is as important as any other world championship," said Brack. "I give one-hundred percent of my effort to IROC as I do to the CART races. IROC is a lot of fun, but it is also extremely important as a driver, because it proves you have versatility in your driving skill. It proves I can get into anything and be competitive, which is not something a lot of drivers can do and I take pride in that. To win this would be a great honor because it is very tough to do coming from my background among all the talented and extremely skillful NASCAR drivers in this style of racing."
With the points battle so close, winning the race would be a boon to Brack's chances for the championship. Winning the race would also make Brack the first and only driver in history to win at Indy in different forms of auto racing making him the quintessential IROC champion.
The 2001 25th anniversary season of the True Value IROC series will conclude on August 4, 2001 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and be broadcast on ESPN, Friday, August 10 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Media Note: 2001 True Value IROC Drivers/Points Standings: NASCAR Winston Cup Bobby Labonte 44 CART Kenny Brack 43 Indy Racing League Eddie Cheever, Jr. 39 NASCAR Winston Cup Tony Stewart 39 NASCAR Winston Cup Ricky Rudd 36 NASCAR Winston Cup Dale Jarrett 35 Indy Racing League Scott Goodyear 32 Indy Racing League Buddy Lazier 27 NASCAR Winston Cup Jeff Burton 22 NASCAR Busch Series Jeff Green 21 Indy Racing League Mark Dismore 19
The True Value IROC series matches 12 championship caliber drivers to compete in equalized Pontiac Firebird Trans Am race cars. The cars are differentiated by their brilliant DuPont ChromaSystems TM colors and outfitted with Goodyear Eagle radial race tires. The four-race series awards points according to finishing positions. At the end of the fourth event the points are tallied and a champion is declared.
True Value is the world's largest hardware and home center retailer with more than 6,500 locations worldwide, representing annual retail sales of more than $18 billion. True Value's racing involvement includes a 16-year history with IROC as well as involvement with NASCAR. Additional information on True Value and individual True Value locations is available at www.truevalue.com.