Pre-race notes

Crown Royal IROC Race One Daytona International Speedway Daytona 25th IROC Race At Daytona - The 2005 season opener marks the 25th IROC race at Daytona International Speedway. Inaugural IROC Daytona Event - The series concluded its inaugural ...

Crown Royal IROC Race One
Daytona International Speedway Daytona

25th IROC Race At Daytona - The 2005 season opener marks the 25th IROC race at Daytona International Speedway. Inaugural IROC Daytona Event - The series concluded its inaugural season on 12/14/74 competing on the 3.56-mile road course -- Mark Donohue, representing Road Racing, won the final event and clinched the inaugural IROC championship. Wins by Division at Daytona - NASCAR (18), CART (3), USAC (1), SCCA (1) and FIA (1).

Of the 23 IROC oval races contested at Daytona only five have been won by a non-NASCAR driver -- Bobby Unser (1975), Mario Andretti (1978), Al Unser (1986), Scott Pruett (1991) and Al Unser Jr. (1997).

2005 competitors, Scott Pruett and Mark Martin are the only drivers in the field with an IROC win at Daytona. Multiple Daytona Race Winners: Dale Earnhardt and Bill Elliott are the only two drivers with multiple IROC wins at Daytona. Earnhardt won six times -- '92, '94, '95, '96, '99 and '00. Elliott won twice -- '88 and '93.

Daytona Race Winners From Pole Position: Daytona IROC events have been won four times from the pole position: Mark Donohue in '74, Bill Elliott in '88 (led start to finish) and Dale Earnhardt in '94 and 2000.

Race Record: Daytona IROC race record: 187.793 mph, 31 minutes, 57 seconds, Dale Earnhardt, IROC 20, 2/16/96. The only rain shortened event in IROC history was at Daytona -- IROC 22, 2/13/98, winner-Jeff Gordon. Track Configuration - Daytona International Speedway, 2.5-mile high-banked tri-oval. -

Race Format: Distance - 100 miles, 40 laps (Yellow flag laps do not count). No pit stop required. The Shootout - The popular and successful Shootout element begun in 2004 will continue in 2005. The purpose of the Shootout is to heighten the level of competition within each race. Awarding bonus points for the first three positions adds incentive to get to the front of the pack during the first segment of the race.

A competition yellow at lap 25 will signal the realignment of the field. The Incentive: The top three positions are awarded bonus point of 3, 2, and 1, respectively. The Leader's Perk: The leader will restart in a single row ahead of the remainder of the field. Lane Choice: Positions two through 12 will realign in double file rows. Each driver, one-by-one in ascending order, will choose to restart in either the inside lane or outside lane. Example: If the driver in the 2nd position chooses to restart in the outside lane, the driver in 3rd position can either go to the inside of 2nd position, forming row one behind the leader, or go behind 2nd position in the outside lane. If the driver in 3rd position chooses to restart in the outside lane, behind the driver in 2nd position, the driver in 4th position can choose to move all the way up to the inside of the first row behind the leader. The level of advantage regarding lane choice varies from venue to venue. Giving the driver lane choice adds another dimension of individual strategy to the event.

Starting Positions and Car Assignments by Blind Draw - Out of the fleet of Crown Royal IROC Cars brought to the event 12 will be selected based on their equivalence in speed and performance during pre-race testing. The cars are identified and drawn for by chassis numbers. Starting positions for Race One is determined by a blind draw.

Purse Total - $1.9 million with $1,000,000 awarded to the Champion based on points standings at the end of the fourth race.

2005 Crown Royal IROC cars -- A new graphics package for the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series allows more color and bigger numbers on each of the individual cars. The car numbers and colors are assigned at the start of the season and will remain with the driver throughout the four-race season. Numbers and colors, when possible, will either simulate the driver's native series team, or be significant to the driver from a portion of his/her career.

Quotes:

Matt Kenseth: (Reigning Crown Royal IROC Champion) -- (About the competition and repeating a championship) "I think it's going to be a lot of fun, it's a great group. All these guys are extremely good at what they do and they're all very capable of winning these races, so I don't count on repeating anything until it's done."

Helio Castroneves: (pronounced ELIO) - "This is my fourth year and I think that my best result is second (Indianapolis, 2002). It's funny because every year I keep going backwards. Instead of getting better I keep getting worse."

"It will be very cool to climb the fence after an IROC win but first I need to understand how to get out of the car faster. Here you have the window and the net and a few things to take care of before you get out of the car but I hope I can do that this year."

Kurt Busch : "It's been a great treat to run the groups of drivers you get to run with in IROC. Having Mark Martin back is great, he's a legendary driver in my mind. This is a stout class of champions, it's going to be a lot of fun. "

Max Papis: "I really want to take advantage because this is a huge honor and a big opportunity. I've been working the garages of NASCAR for the last three years. It's no secret that I want to do it in my short future. Here in the IROC series I will be in NASCAR territory."

"When I came to race in America, the first thing I did when I arrived at the Daytona track was sit in the grandstands and watch the stock cars practicing. I told myself that maybe one day I will do this and drive on ovals. From that day in 1996 many things have changed. I am achieving my American dream. Now racing in IROC with people like Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, and Martin Truex, this is something special."

Sebastien Bourdais : "I'm very happy to be representing the Champ Car Series, and I'm also very happy to be invited to compete in the IROC Series. It's a lot different for me, my first time in a stock car. For me as a driver, it's very interesting. The car moves around a lot and it's very heavy. You also have to see who will work with you on the race track and I hope to finds some friends out there because I really want to do well."

Mark Martin: "I'm just sitting here thinking that all these other years I've been trying to prove something on the race track, and I'm sure when it comes race time that will cross my mind. But right now I've been thinking about what an honor it is to be hanging out with these guys, all the great champions. I realize that this might very well be the last chance I get to participate in the IROC series and it has meant a lot to my career. This is going to be fun; I'm going to enjoy this year in IROC more than any other one. I'm looking forward to spending more time with these guys off the race track as well as on the race track. I've been blessed over my (IROC) career to have run exceptionally good cars in the past and hopefully that #30 I just drew is the real hot rod."

Danny Lasoski : "Getting to come back (to IROC) these past couple of years is just amazing to me. My first year, I thought that would be it, and at least I could say I did IROC, but then we were fortunate enough to make it again and then last year the IROC win in Texas, which was a dream come true. This year I look around at the guys in the series and I can't tell you what an honor it is for me to be in this company."

Scott Pruett: "It's been a blast doing IROC. My fondest career memories are winning Riverside in 1987 and then my comeback win here at Daytona in 1991 after being injured. This is a tough series and you look at these guys and they're all champions. Champions get to be champions by being tough to beat and racers are racers so this will be a fun challenge."

"It's been a few years since I was in this position and you when you do get to win a championship, getting into IROC is just the icing on the cake."

Bobby Hamilton : "Last year when I realized I could win the championship, as much as I wanted to win it for everybody on my team, it was a personal thing for me that I would finally get into the IROC Series, which I've always wanted to do. I've seen some the best races I've ever seen in this series and I get a chance to run with some of the guys I used to run with. I just love racing in big packs of race cars and I'm going to have a lot of fun."

Buddy Rice: "I'm learning a lot here. I've been going to school quite a bit with Jim and Jay Sauter and Dave Marcis and the other guys that have run with us a bit. There's a lot to learn and there's actually stuff I'm learning here I can take back to the IRL car."

Steve Kinser: "Well, the good thing about starting last is I don't have to watch 11 cars pass me as I go to the back. I'm looking forward to IROC again, I hope to get a few more opportunities to do the series and hope Danny and I can do well."

-iroc-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IROC
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Bobby Hamilton , Matt Kenseth , Jay Sauter , Kurt Busch , Al Unser Jr. , Helio Castroneves , Max Papis , Scott Pruett , Mario Andretti , Dave Marcis , Al Unser Sr. , Bobby Unser , Sébastien Bourdais , Steve Kinser , Buddy Rice , Martin Truex Jr. , Mark Donohue , Mark Martin