IROC: Cheever, Brack Quickly Getting the Hang of IROC Cars

9 February 1999

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla - Pep Boys Indy Racing League standouts Eddie Cheever Jr. and Kenny Brack are making smooth transitions to stock-car racing during their preparation for the opening round of the 1999 International Race of Champions series at Daytona International Speedway.

1998 Indianapolis 500 champion Cheever and 1998 Pep Boys Indy Racing League champion Brack started testing for the 12-driver all-star series last week on the 2.5-mile oval at Daytona. The first of four rounds of the IROC series is Feb. 12 at Daytona. The final round is Aug. 6 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

IROC pits 12 elite drivers from a variety of motorsports series in identically prepared stock cars. Cheever and Brack are representing the Pep Boys Indy Racing League in the series.

1998 NASCAR Busch Series champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. joined Brack and Cheever in IROC practice.

"This is the most fun I have had in a very long time," Cheever said. "They (cars) feel great, just great."

Test driver Jim Sauter helped the trio get accustomed to the cars. All four drivers swapped cars during many laps of practice. Sauter guided Brack, Cheever and Earnhardt through nearly every racing line on the tri-oval and also helped them with such techniques as bump drafting and side-by-side racing.

"They're going to put you there during the race, so you need to run there now," Sauter said, explaining why he guided the three drivers high into the "marbles" and low on the apron of the track during practice.

When Brack, Cheever and Earnhardt started practice, they stayed in constant communication on the radio, informing each other of their planned moves and techniques. Later in the practice, the three drivers are shifted to race mode. The radios were nearly silent.

"Oh, yeah we don't say much," Brack said. "I guess we are figuring out things now and keep it to ourselves."

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