INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 31, 2000 -- When the True Value International Race of Champions stages its final race of this year's series Aug. 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, nearly half of the all-star field will be in contention for the ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Monday, July 31, 2000 -- When the True Value International Race of Champions stages its final race of this year's series Aug. 4 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, nearly half of the all-star field will be in contention for the championship.
Mathematically, five of the 12 all-star drivers in the field are eligible for the 2000 True Value IROC championship: NASCAR Winston Cup drivers Dale Earnhardt, Mark Martin, Tony Stewart and Bobby Labonte, and Indy Racing Northern Light Series standout Eddie Cheever Jr. The series champion earns $225,000 from the $760,000 series purse.
The 40-lap IROC at Indy race starts at 3:45 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 4. It will be televised at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) Aug. 5 on ABC.
1999 True Value IROC champion Earnhardt leads the standings with 57 points after three races. Four-time IROC champion Martin is second at 45. But Martin is in good position to make a strong challenge for the title as he has won both IROC at Indy events since the series debut at the Brickyard in 1998. Stewart and Labonte are tied for third with 43. Stewart, a native of Rushville, Ind., first competed in IROC in 1998 as the defending Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion. Labonte earned his first IROC victory in April at Talladega Superspeedway.
1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Cheever is fifth at 38. He also earned his first IROC win this season, capturing the most recent round in June at Michigan Speedway.
The last open-wheel driver to earn the IROC season championship was current Indy Racing Northern Light Series standout Al Unser Jr. in 1988. In an IROC event, a driver can earn a maximum of 26 points. The minimum is three points.
Also competing in the 2000 True Value IROC series is 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup champion Dale Jarrett along with fellow NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton, former Indiana resident Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace and 1999 NASCAR Busch Grand National series champion, Dale Earnhardt Jr. The Indy Racing Northern Light Series is also represented by Mark Dismore and 1999 series champion Greg Ray.
The True Value International Race of Champions is a four-race series featuring 12 of the world's top drivers from different types of racing, competing in identically prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams. The four 100-mile events take place at different tracks with no pit stops, no qualifying and no driver setup of the cars, which run on Goodyear Eagle radial tires and are specially finished with brilliant DuPont ChromaSystem(TM) colors. <pre> TRUE VALUE IROC AT INDY STARTING LINEUP Row One PositionCar Driver Series Points 1 12 Mark Dismore Indy Racing Northern Light Series 11 2 11 Greg Ray Indy Racing Northern Light Series 18 Row Two 3 10 Rusty Wallace NASCAR Winston Cup Series 21 4 9 Dale Earnhardt Jr. NASCAR Busch Series 23 Row Three 5 8 Jeff Gordon NASCAR Winston Cup Series 23 6 7 Dale Jarrett NASCAR Winston Cup Series 24 Row Four 7 6 Jeff Burton NASCAR Winston Cup Series 32 8 5 Eddie Cheever Jr. Indy Racing Northern Light Series 38 Row Five 9 4 Bobby Labonte NASCAR Winston Cup Series 43 10 3 Tony Stewart NASCAR Winston Cup Series 43 Row Six 11 2 Mark Martin NASCAR Winston Cup Series 45 12 1 Dale Earnhardt NASCAR Winston Cup Series 57
Note: Starting order determined by reverse order of points. Car numbers