True Value Firebird IROC XXII, Round 1 - Daytona: Fact Sheet
11 February 1998
What: 22nd Anniversary True Value Firebird International Race of Champions When: Friday, Feb 13, 1:30 p.m. (Eastern) Where: Daytona International Speedway, 2.5 mile high-banked oval Who: 12 of the world's top drivers, representing different types of motorsports, competing at the invitation of IROC race organizers. The field includes: NASCAR Winston Cup drivers -- Jeff Gordon Dale Jarrett Mark Martin Jeff Burton Dale Earnhardt NASCAR Busch Series driver -- Randy LaJoie FedEx Championship Series drivers -- Al Unser, Jr. Jimmy Vasser Pep Boys Indy Racing League drivers -- Arie Luyendyk Tony Stewart SCCA Trans Am driver -- Tom Kendall Cars: Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams, equally prepared by IROC Distance: 100 miles, 40 laps (caution laps do not count) Purse: $760,000 based on point totals after four races with each champion earning $225,000. Lineup: Starting order determined by draw TV: ABC Sports delayed coverage Sunday, March 8, 5pm (Eastern) Defending Winner: Al Unser won at Daytona in 1997, finishing .122 seconds ahead of Mark Martin. Schedule: Race 1 - Daytona International Speedway, Feb. 13, 1998 Race 2 - California Speedway, May 2, 1998 Race 3 - Michigan Speedway, June 13, 1998 Race 4 - Indianapolis Motor Speedway, July 31, 1998 Fast Facts: Mark Martin is the defending True Value Firebird IROC champion. He won the title for the second consecutive year in 1997 and became the series' first-ever three time champion (1994, 1996, 1997). Dale Earnhardt interrupted Martin's streak by taking the crown in 1995. Martin has won four of the last six IROC races (Charlotte and Michigan in 1996, Charlotte and Fontana in 1997). Martin has won a total of six IROC races, third on the all-time list. Al Unser, Jr. leads with eleven and Earnhardt is second with seven. Unser Jr.'s IROC Daytona victory last year ended Earnhardt's streak of three consecutive Daytona wins. The IRL is represented in IROC for the first time this year (Tony Stewart, Arie Luyendyk). Stewart is an IROC rookie, Arie has raced IROC in two previous seasons. Jeff Burton joins Stewart as an IROC rookie. Last year at Michigan, Randy LaJoie, the defending Daytona Busch Grand National race winner, became the first Busch Series driver to win in IROC.