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Brack, Cheever Ready for Draft Day in Daytona IROC Race

11 February 1999

For Immediate Release


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Feb. 11, 1999 -- It was nine days before the start of 
the 1999 International Race of Champions (IROC) series, and Eddie Cheever 
Jr. was wandering through the garage at Daytona International Speedway.

"I guess these noses get pretty banged up, don't they?" he asked an IROC 
crew member while surveying the front of the IROC Pontiac Firebirds.

For a man who has spent his racing life in cars without fenders and roofs, 
this was an altogether different world.

"Us open-wheel guys get a little claustrophobic in these things," said 
Cheever, who makes his IROC debut Feb. 12, along with 1998 Pep Boys Indy 
Racing League champion Kenny Brack.

Cheever, defending Indianapolis 500 champion and winner of the Pep Boys 
Indy Racing League season opener at Walt Disney World Speedway, lives an 
hour away from Daytona, in Orlando, and kept his calendar free in the days 
preceding the 100-mile IROC race.

He didn't want to miss any of the practice sessions leading up to his 
first stock-car drive since his early-career romps through Europe in a BMW.

"They say the key here is drafting, so I'll get as much practice as I 
can," said Cheever.

After a week-plus of getting the feel of roofs and fenders and the famed 
Daytona draft, Cheever and Brack will join 10 other all-stars (most from 
the NASCAR world) in the race. Cheever will start fifth, on the inside of 
the third row. Brack will start seventh, directly behind him.

"I'm trying to learn as much as I possibly can learn about stock-car 
racing," said Brack, who drove his A.J. Foyt-owned entry to the 1998 Pep 
Boys Indy Racing League championship. "If I'm going to do this, I'm going 
to do this properly. Otherwise, there's no point in doing it."

Listen to the Indy men talk, and you get the impression this adjustment 
has been quite extensive.

"It's different, and it's difficult in a lot of areas," said Brack. "Indy 
cars are difficult in certain areas, and this is difficult in other areas, 
too. The only problem is that the areas are different, so you have to 
learn. It's like starting over.

"It's interesting, trying to learn the difficulties of stock-car racing. 
In Indy cars, you use the draft to a certain extent, but you don't want to 
go through a corner with your nose under the other guy's gearbox - you'd 
lose your downforce. With these cars, you can do that. You don't lose that 
much downforce."

The biggest lesson open-wheel drivers learn about drafting is the 
importance of a partner. Cheever and Brack went out together in most 
practice sessions and have the advantage of starting nose to tail.

"We're new at this, so we're trying to figure out the ins and outs of the 
draft," said Cheever. "So far, it's a lot of fun."

Though the odds are long -- the four IROC oval-track races are mostly 
dominated by the experienced stock-car stars -- Cheever will enter the 
40-lapper at the 2.5-mile Daytona tri-oval with a familiar goal.

"Every race, I go out to win," said Cheever. "I don't win every one, but I 
go out to win every time."

He'll have his hands full. Along with Cheever and Brack, the 12-car field 
also includes open-wheelers Adrian Fernandez and Greg Moore, along with 
eight NASCAR jockeys: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale 
Jarrett, Jeff Burton, Bobby Labonte, Rusty Wallace and four-time IROC 
champion Mark Martin.

Racing in that heady company has made an impression on Brack.

"IROC has always been a great series, with the superstars of racing," said 
Brack. "All of a sudden, I got an invitation. It was like, Wow! I look at 
it as a great honor just to be invited. I want to concentrate on the 
possibilities, not the difficulties."

Adds Cheever, "I can't tell you how important this is to me."

	On TV: The first round of the 1999 IROC series from Daytona International 
Speedway will be televised on ESPN at 4:30 p.m. (Eastern time) April 18.