Martin To Make Return To IROC Series in 2005 Veteran Will be looking for record fifth IROC Championship in return to series DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - (January 19, 2005) -- Mark Martin will make his return to the International Race of Champions...
Martin To Make Return To IROC Series in 2005
Veteran Will be looking for record fifth IROC Championship in return to series
DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. - (January 19, 2005) -- Mark Martin will make his return to the International Race of Champions Series in 2005. It marks Martin's 11th invitation to the series, where he boasts high accolades. He will be seeking his record breaking fifth series title to move ahead of the late Dale Earnhardt, who like Martin holds four IROC titles. In addition, this year's champion will take home the prized $1 million first place purse. Martin's three consecutive titles in '96, '97 and '98 are an IROC series record.
"We are very proud to announce that Mark Martin is returning to the Crown Royal IROC Series," said series President Jay Signore. "Mark (Martin) represents a career that is touted as one of the most successful in the history of NASCAR, and he is without a doubt, an icon in IROC history.
"In fact I remember a couple of years back, there was talk of renaming the series the Mark Martin series," laughed Signore. "He has four championships, 11 IROC wins and he's saluting all of us this year -- his last year of NASCAR Nextel Cup racing."
Martin won his first IROC title in 1994. In 10 seasons in the series, he has accumulated four championships and four second-place runs ('95, '99, '00 and '03). Martin last competed in the series in 2003, finishing second to Roush Racing teammate Kurt Busch for the championship. He started out the 2003 IROC season earning his 11th win in the opening race at Daytona.
"I'm excited about racing in the IROC series again," said Martin. "I've always enjoyed the IROC series, because it's an avenue where you get the opportunity to race against some of the best race car drivers in the world and it's a great opportunity to prove yourself against not only the best of NASCAR but guys from a variety of other types of racing as well.
"My record in the IROC Series is something that I'm really proud of," added Martin. "It's something that I always have to think twice about before I accept their invitation. For eight years straight I either won the championship or finished second in that series and that's something that I am really proud of, and it's hard to always live up to that.
"It's changed a lot over the years," added Martin. "A lot of the guys that I used to race against for those championships are gone and it's kind of a new generation that's moved in. Also the last year we did it, I could not beat Kurt Busch -- I finished second to him. I just couldn't score more points. We did get a win at Daytona, but we couldn't catch Kurt. That's something we'll be gunning for this year as we try to win that championship again.
The series will kick off on Feb. 18 at Daytona, where Martin won his 11th IROC race in 2003.
In addition to the season opener at Daytona, the series will make stops at Texas Motor Speedway (April 15), Richmond International Raceway (September 8), before concluding at Atlanta Motor Speedway on October 29.
Martin will be joined in the series by Roush Racing teammates Matt Kenseth, who won the series championship last season, and Kurt Busch, who won the IROC title in 2003.
Roush Racing is a subsidiary of Livonia, Mich., based Roush Industries that operates ten motorsports teams; five in NASCAR Nextel Cup with drivers Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Greg Biffle and Carl Edwards; three in the Busch Series with Martin, Kenseth and Edwards, and two in the Craftsman Truck Series with drivers Ricky Craven and Todd Kluever.