Michigan, June 10-Reaffirming the presence of open wheel champions in the True Value IROC series, Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Eddie Cheever Jr., driving the red True Value IROC Pontiac Firebird, won his first True Value IROC race by...
Michigan, June 10-Reaffirming the presence of open wheel champions in the True Value IROC series, Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Eddie Cheever Jr., driving the red True Value IROC Pontiac Firebird, won his first True Value IROC race by .711 seconds in the third round of the 24th True Value IROC series at Michigan speedway. Finishing 2nd was NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Tony Stewart, who started in 8th position. According to Stewart, "You have to drive the cars here, and you'll have to drive them at Indy too. He (Cheever) drove the car today, it wasn't just that he had a better car. He held it wide open just like the rest of us did." Third place went to first round True Value IROC Daytona champion, Dale Earnhardt who started in 12th position. According to Earnhardt, "I might of run too hard at the start, but Cheever was running hard at the start too. I'd like to win them all, but I like to see a mix (of open-wheel and stock car drivers win races)." Cheever Jr. started the race from 2nd position and led the race for four laps until Dale Earnhardt and son, NASCAR rookie sensation Dale Earnhardt Jr, overtook him. According to Cheever , "I promised myself after my experience in Daytona and Talladega, of losing the draft, that if somebody got by me, I was going to get back in it as soon as I can. This series allows you to run real hard and that's what I enjoy about it. I'm real honored that they asked me to return." On the 32nd lap, Cheever Jr. got back to the front and was able to regain the lead and distance himself from Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt who fell behind battling side by side. Cheever Jr. recalls, "Each time I got in front I could get a few car lengths ahead and they were fighting behind me and that's what allowed me to keep my margin." Cheever Jr. kept his lead all the way to the checkered flag. Not since 1997 when Al Unser Jr. captured his 11th series victory in Daytona had an open wheel driver been victorious in a True Value IROC race. Cheever Jr. said, "It's a great honor to be racing against them (NASCAR Winston Cup drivers). I like the fact they don't gang up on you. I guess I always heard that they put a big 'X' on your car if you're an open-wheeled guy. Nothing could be further from the truth." Also competing in the third race of their first True Value IROC series were Indy Racing League drivers Greg Ray and Mark Dismore. Dismore and Ray finished 10th and 11th respectively. Cheever Jr., Dismore and Ray were airlifted immediately after the race from Michigan Speedway to compete in the Indy Racing Northern Light Series in Texas.
The purse for the 2000 True Value IROC series totals of $760,000 with $225,000 awarded to the champion based on cumulative point standings at the end of the fourth race.
Remaining 2000 Schedule
August 4, 2000
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
100 miles (40 laps) on
Race three of the 24th True Value IROC will be rebroadcast on ESPN2 at 10:30p.m.(Eastern) on Sunday, June 11 2000.
<pre> IROC XXIV Race Three - 50 Laps (100 Miles) Saturday, June 10, 2000 Michigan Speedway, Brooklyn, MI 2.0-mile banked tri-oval Fin St Driver Car Number Laps Times Laps Bonus Points Status Color Led Led Points 1 2 Eddie Cheever Jr. Red 11 50 3 23 5 21 Running 2 8 Tony Stewart Lime 5 50 17 Running 3 12 Dale Earnhardt Med. Blue 1 50 3 15 3 14 Running 4 10 Mark Martin Green 3 50 1 9 2 12 Running 5 3 Dale Jarrett Rose 10 50 10 Running 6 11 Bobby Labonte Gold 2 50 9 Running 7 6 Jeff Gordon Violet 7 50 8 Running 8 7 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Aqua 6 50 2 3 7 Running 9 5 Rusty Wallace Yellow 8 50 6 Running 10 1 Mark Dismore Dark Blue 12 50 5 Running 11 4 Greg Ray White 9 44 4 Running 12 9 Jeff Burton Powder Blue 4 37 3 Over Heat
Average Speed 162.162 Time of Race 37 min. 0 sec. Margin of Victory 0.711 sec. Lead Changes 9 among 4 drivers Cautions 1 Lap Leaders: Cheever 1-4, Earnhardt 5, Cheever 6, Earnhardt 7-10, Earnhardt Jr. 11, Earnhardt 12-21, Martin 22-30, Earnhardt Jr. 31-32, Cheever 33-50
Driver Current Points Bonus Points Michigan Race Points TotalPoints Dale Earnhardt 40 3 14 57 Mark Martin 31 2 12 45 Tony Stewart 26 0 17 43 Bobby Labonte 34 0 9 43 Eddie Cheever Jr. 12 5 21 38 Jeff Burton 29 0 3 32 Dale Jarrett 14 0 10 24 Jeff Gordon 15 0 8 23 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 16 0 7 23 Rusty Wallace 15 0 6 21 Greg Ray 14 0 4 18 Mark Dismore 6 0 5 11
*Tie-Breaker Rule: In the event that two or more drivers are tied for bonus points, the bonus points will be awarded according to the finishing positions of the race.
Prize Money: The total True Value IROC purse of $760,000 will be paid upon conclusion of the series based on point standings. The series Champion will earn $225,000.
ESPN: Live 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Next Race: The True Value IROC XXIV finale will take place on Friday, August 4, 2000 at The Indianapolis Motor Speedway.