Tinton Falls, NJ - NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon, Indy Racing League's Eddie Cheever, Jr., and NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were announced today as participants in the twenty-fourth running of the True Value...
Tinton Falls, NJ - NASCAR Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon, Indy Racing League's Eddie Cheever, Jr., and NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were announced today as participants in the twenty-fourth running of the True Value International Race of Champions.
The series begins on Feb. 18 with race one at Daytona International Speedway and will air on ABC Sports Sunday, March 12 at 5:00 p.m., immediately following coverage of the NASCAR Winston Cup Atlanta race. The series continues with race two at Talladega Superspeedway on April 15th and airs the next day, April 16 at 5:00 p.m. on ABC Sports. Race three will air Live from Michigan Speedway on June 10 at 12:00 Noon on ESPN, and raps up the championship on August 4, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which airs the next day, August 5 on ABC Sports at 4:30 p.m., following the Brickyard 400.
Three-time Winston Cup champion and 1999 Daytona 500 winner, Jeff Gordon will make his sixth appearance in the series. Gordon garnered seven NASCAR Winston Cup victories in 1999, as well as a win in the Busch Grand National series; he finished sixth in Winston Cup points. His best year in IROC competition came in 1998 with a win at the Daytona opener and third in the final point standings. In 1999 he finished fifth in IROC points with a great second place finish at the Indy finale.
The Indy Racing League's Eddie Cheever, Jr., make a return to the True Value IROC series in 2000. This past season the 1998 Indy 500 winner repeated victory in the IRL season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway. His best IROC race finish was an impressive third at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Of his rookie year in IROC, Cheever said, "What I came to realize was that the IROC series was a championship of the best oval racers in the world and even though, I was racing the NASCAR drivers on their turf and in their cars, it was still possible to win. It was more fun than I imagined it could ever be."
The 1996-97 Indy Racing League champion and 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the year, Tony Stewart will make his sophomore appearance in IROC competition. In 1999, Stewart swept the Winston Cup rookie competition with three victories, 21 top-ten finishes, of which, 12 were top-fives and finished fourth in NASCAR Winston Cup points. On May 30th 1999 he competed in both, the Indy Racing League's Indianapolis 500, finishing ninth and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600, finishing fourth. Stewart competed in the 1998 IROC series finishing sixth in points, his best IROC race finish was third at Michigan Speedway.
The 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup runner-up, Bobby Labonte has accepted his well-earned invitation to compete in the True Value IROC series. In 1997 IROC competition, Labonte was a single-race substitute driver for the injured Robby Gordon at California Speedway with a second place finish. Last year Labonte replaced Al Unser, Jr., the series at Daytona when Unser's daughter Cody became suddenly ill with transverse myelitis. Labonte finished third in IROC points, with a second place finish at Daytona. Labonte's 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season was his best, finishing second in final points, with five victories, 26 top-ten finishes, of which, 23 were top-fives.
IROC President Jay Signore said more drivers would be announced next week.