History The Earnhardt Connection

Earnhardt makes IROC field for 14th time
The Earnhardt Connection
Tinton Falls, New Jersey (February 2, 1998)

Dale has driven in the IROC series in every year of its existence.

Dale Earnhardt and Terry Labonte, both former NASCAR Winston Cup champions, have accepted invitations to drive in the International Race of Champions Series. Two-time NASCAR Busch series champion Randy LaJoie and 1997 SCCA Trans-Am champion Tommy Kendall also were added yesterday, completing the 12-driver field.

These four join previously announced Jeff Gordon, Dale Jarrett, Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, and Al Unser Jr., Arie Luyendyk, Tony Stewart and Jimmy Vasser in the four-race IROC series, beginning Feb. 13 at Daytona International Speedway, in Daytona Beach, Fla.

IROC is an invitational series matching a dozen of the world's top drivers, representing different types of motorsports, in equally prepared Pontiac Firebird Trans Ams equipped with Goodyear Eagle radial tires. The schedule also includes events May 2, California Speedway, Fontana, Calif.- June 13, Michigan Speedway, Brooklyn, Mich.; and July 31, the first IROC race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Earnhardt, of Mooresville, N.C., returns for his record 14th IROC series after finishing fifth in the 1997 Winston Cup standings with prize money of just over $2.1 million. The seven-time NASCAR champion is also a double IROC titlist, in 1990 and 1995, and has won seven series races.

ABC Sports will again televise all four IROC contests on a delayed basis.

IROC is sponsored by True Value Hardware Stores; Pontiac division of General Motors Corp.-, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.- DuPont Automotive Refinishes-, and AC Delco Rapidfire spark plugs and Freedom batteries.

1998 Unimount Enterprises