IROC: Brack, Cheever Invited to Compete in Prestigious IROC Series
22 January 1999INDIANAPOLIS -- The International Race of Champions (IROC), which raced for the first time at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway last summer, will include two champions from the Pep Boys Indy Racing League among its 12-driver lineup in 1999.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway again will conduct the season finale Aug. 6. The drivers also will race April 24 at Talladega (Ala.) SuperSpeedway and June 11 at Michigan Speedway. Each of the races will be held as part of a NASCAR Winston Cup weekend.
Three other drivers named so far are 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup and Brickyard 400 champion Jeff Gordon, defending IROC champion Mark Martin and CART regular Greg Moore. The rest of the field will be announced shortly.
All will be driving the same Firebirds used in 1998. They are being prepared in series president Jay Signore's shop in Tinton Falls, N.J. A preseason test recently took place at Daytona, with Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter, Dick Trickle and Andy Hillenberg doing the driving.
Two-time Indy 500 champion Arie Luyendyk and 1996-97 league champion Tony Stewart were the Indy Racing League representatives in the 1998 series.
Both Cheever, 41, and Brack, 32, are relatively inexperienced in driving stock cars. Both climbed the ranks into Formula One in Europe before coming to the United States to race in the 1990s. Cheever, a native of Phoenix who was reared in Rome, made 132 F1 starts, more than any American. Brack, born in Arvika, Sweden, tested with Formula One teams Williams and Arrows.
Cheever recorded the crowning achievement of his career last May when he charged from 17th to victory at Indy. He outraced 1996 Indy champion Buddy Lazier over the final laps to take the checkered flag. Cheever, who owns his Indy Racing League team, lives in Orlando, Fla., and will start the 1999 season driving in Sunday's TransWorld Diversified Services Indy 200 at Walt Disney World Speedway.
Brack, who drives for legendary A.J. Foyt, will begin defense of his league championship in the same race. He came on strong in the second half of the 1998 season to win three consecutive races and take his first American racing championship.
Martin won last season's IROC series and $225,000. Individual race winners were: Daytona, Jeff Gordon; California Speedway, Martin; Michigan, Jeff Burton, and Indianapolis, Martin.