Daytona, November 14 -- The 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion, Buddy Lazier excepted an invitation to join the 25th anniversary edition of the True Value IROC Series in 2001. Lazier wasted no-time in expressing his enthusiasm --...
Daytona, November 14 -- The 2000 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion, Buddy Lazier excepted an invitation to join the 25th anniversary edition of the True Value IROC Series in 2001. Lazier wasted no-time in expressing his enthusiasm -- he is trackside at Daytona where the True Value IROC team is testing in preparation for the February 16th opener.
Lazier strapped into one of the Pontiac Firebirds and hit the 2.5-mile, high-bank, tri-oval for his first time in a stock car. IROC test driver, and fellow Northern Light series competitor, Andy Hillenburg led the way with Lazier in tow -- you could hear him grinning lap after lap. "This is incredible, these cars just stick wherever you go, they've got so much grip -- thank you, this is so much fun," said Lazier in radio communications with the crew.
Of Lazier's first run, Andy Hillenburg said, "Right now I'm getting him used to the parameters of the race track, and getting him comfortable with the stock cars. He's a professional, in three laps he's going as fast as he needs to be going -- he's going as fast as the cars will let him go, just learning the track and doing a great job. With a little time in the car I expect Buddy to be as competitive as anybody else come February."
Veteran True Value IROC test drivers, Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter and Dick Trickle where also on-hand to tutor the thirty-three-year old, 1996 Indy 500 winner. "He earned his way here (into IROC), he knows how to drive a race car so, we don't have to teach him how to go fast, just how not to lose the draft," said Dick Trickle, "He's doing a great job, he's run all over the race track and knows where he needs to be."
"I am paying strict attention to these guys, they test these cars and are the finest at what they do. I've never been in a stock car before today but, I've always been a big stock car and Winston Cup fan. This is really fun for me, it's a really neat deal and these guys are taking good care of me," said Lazier.
The True Value IROC series will kick off its 25th anniversary season at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 16, 2001. Over the next several weeks more drivers will be announced, as well as the 2001 shedule and 25th anniversary plans. k