2006 venues, schedule announced
CROWN ROYAL IROC SERIES RETURNS TO ITS RACING ROOTS Series Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Addition of Road Course Event to 2006 Schedule DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 5, 2006) --Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series ...
CROWN ROYAL IROC SERIES RETURNS TO ITS RACING ROOTS
Series Celebrates 30th Anniversary with Addition of Road Course Event to 2006 Schedule
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 5, 2006) --Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) Series officials announced today that it will hold one of its 2006 races on a road course for the first time in 14 years. As part of its 30th anniversary season, the Crown Royal IROC Series will race on the famed road course at Daytona International Speedway (DIS) on Thursday, June 29, in conjunction with the NASCAR Cup race weekend.
The Daytona road course event is Race Three of the four-race invitational all-star series, which also includes events held at one superspeedway and two intermediate tracks. The series will make return engagements to three of the tracks it competed at in 2005. The season-opener will be contested at Daytona on the 2.5-mile, high-bank tri-oval on Friday, February 17, followed by a pair of intermediate tracks: Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, April 7 and the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 28.
Daytona and the Crown Royal IROC Series share plenty of history, with its road course being the site of the inaugural 1973-74 IROC Series season finale. Legendary open-wheel driver Mark Donohue won that race and solidified his IROC championship in its first season. A road course event was a regular stop in the series from 1973 to 1991, with NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace winning the last road course event at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) in 1991.
"We've missed the road racing element of the series over the years and I can't tell you how thrilled we are to add a road course back into the mix," said Jay Signore, IROC President and General Manager. "This will be the first time the Crown Royal IROC Series will race on the Daytona road course since our inaugural season. I want to thank Robin Braig (President, DIS) and his staff, as well as everyone at NASCAR and the Grand-Am Series for working with us on the schedule to make road racing once again a part of the challenge for the Crown Royal IROC Championship."
The Crown Royal IROC team will begin testing on Daytona's 3.56-mile course on January 5, in conjunction with Rolex 24 of Daytona testing, and will return to the track in early February for the superspeedway season opener.
"Race fans will get the best of the Crown Royal IROC Series at Daytona on both the historic 31-degree high banks and the legendary twists and turns of our 3.56-mile road course in 2006," said Braig. "We're proud to host the opening round of the prestigious all-star racing series during Speedweeks, and the additional Crown Royal IROC Series road course event during the Pepsi 400 weekend will now give fans one of the most diverse racing weekends in motorsports."
For the third consecutive year, Crown Royal returns as series title sponsor as part of its "Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly." campaign. Last year, Crown Royal honored the first ever all-time IROC Legends of Victory Lane team as voted by the fans, which included Mario Andretti (open-wheel), the late Dale Earnhardt (stock car), Scott Pruett (road racing) and Steve Kinser (open-wheel).
"Much like the Crown Royal brand, the IROC series is steeped in history and has a rich legacy," said James Lorenz, Senior Brand Manager, Crown Royal. "We are very excited to see the series return to its roots and include a road course event as they continue to help us promote and advance our commitment to drinking responsibly."
The 2006 driver field will be announced in mid-January in conjunction with NASCAR testing at DIS. Mark Martin captured two race victories (Daytona, Richmond) en route to winning the 2005 Crown Royal IROC Series title and $1 million first-place purse.
Note: Crown Royal IROC test drivers are at Daytona International Speedway putting the cars through their first road course test in anticipation of returning on June 29th for the first IROC road course event since the 1991 season.