Talladega, AL - When you get down the Alabama way, home of the 2.66-mile high-banked Talladega Superspeedway, names like Jarrrett, Labonte, Rudd, Burton, Stewart and Green reverberate like drums in a cathedral. But, the names that have been making...
Talladega, AL - When you get down the Alabama way, home of the 2.66-mile high-banked Talladega Superspeedway, names like Jarrrett, Labonte, Rudd, Burton, Stewart and Green reverberate like drums in a cathedral. But, the names that have been making all the roar around Talladega these past few days are Brack, Goodyear, Cheever Jr., Lazier and Dismore.
These open-wheel aces are turning lap after lap in preparation for a duel against each other and the NASCAR stars in round two of the 25th anniversary edition of the True Value IROC series this Saturday, April 21.
The True Value IROC team arrived on Easter Sunday to begin preparation and testing for this weekend's event. Series test drivers Dave Marcis, Dick Trickle, Jim Sauter and Andy Hillenburg worked the first few days tweaking the cars into shape for driver practice and equalizing the race cars.
Kenny Brack of the CART FedEx Championship series arrived eager to get as much track time as possible. "I take this series very seriously and want to better my result each time I race in True Value IROC. It is an honor to be in the series, racing against some of the best drivers in the world. It is intensely competitive and a lot of fun too," said Brack.
For Scott Goodyear, Talladega is new terrain, as is the idea of having more than just a helmet above his head. Goodyear said, "I've not raced here before, so just getting here and getting the opportunity to run on the track is a thrill. I've watched it on TV for years. It's only my second True Value IROC race or stock car race or race with any kind of roof on it. For me, it's exciting, learning about these cars and this track, which is similar to Daytona, but it (Talladega) has its own characteristics. I'm having a lot of fun with it and learning from the guys who are experts with it."
Eddie Cheever Jr., is making his third appearance at Talladega in the True Value IROC series and likes the fact it is a stock car he is driving. "Talladega is very fast, it's a lot of fun in these cars. I don't know if our open wheel cars would be that much fun around here. There is so much banking, it's just fun racing these cars here. This place, just like Daytona, you've got to have a (drafting) dancing partner for 10 or 20 laps. At the end of the race, you do all this work, and the guy you've done all the work with is the guy you've got to beat. It makes for very exciting racing at the end, " said Cheever Jr.
Dale Jarrett of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series won his first True Value IROC race at the Daytona opener in February. By virtue of the rules, Dale Jarrett will start the Talladega race from the last position.
The starting order for race two at Talladega is determined by reversing the finishing order of race one, with the exception of the pole position. In honor of the 25th anniversary season, True Value IROC officials decided to spice up the odds by drawing for the pole position, as well as drawing for car colors. (See grid at the end)
After Talladega, the True Value IROC series will resume with race three at Michigan International Speedway, Saturday, June 9 and conclude with race four at the world famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday, August 4.