IROC Championship Race Added to Fall Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Weekend
Friday, January 16, 2004
Atlanta Motor Speedway officials announced today that the speedway has finalized the addition of a Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) race to its 2004 fall race weekend schedule. The 100-mile event, which will feature 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 30, as part of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 weekend.
The Atlanta IROC race will be the championship event of a four-race schedule, which will include stops at Daytona, Texas and Richmond. The series champion will receive a record $1 million purse following the finale in Atlanta.
¿It¿s great to have the IROC series return to Atlanta,¿ said Atlanta Motor Speedway President and General Manager Ed Clark, recalling two IROC races held at Atlanta in 1979 and 1980. ¿It will be another great addition to what is already a tremendous racing weekend for the fans. We look forward to working with (IROC president) Jay Signore and the folks at IROC to produce a great finale to a great series. I¿m sure the $1 million payoff in Atlanta will produce a considerable amount of intense action and drama.¿
IROC, which also announced Thursday the signing of a multi-year agreement with Crown Royal as the series¿ title sponsor, is auto racing¿s All-Star Game. It is an invitational auto racing series that matches 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing in equally prepared cars. The series consists of four 100-mile races with points awarded for finishing positions. At the end of the fourth race, points are tallied and a champion of champions is named.
With the new Crown Royal sponsorship comes a significant increase in the series¿ prize money, with the purse for the 2004 IROC season reaching $1.9 million, including $1 million to the champion. This is a major increase from the 2003 season, when champion Kurt Busch received $250,000, a series record.
The IROC race will be part of a star-studded fall race weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The weekend kicks off with Georgia-Pacific Qualifying Night on Friday, Oct. 29, when the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup drivers will be pushing to break the track record at NASCAR¿s fastest track. Immediately after qualifying, the American Speed Association (ASA) drivers will battle it out in a 100-mile duel. The action continues on Saturday with the Aaron¿s 312 Busch race, featuring the drama of 12 extra miles, and the championship IROC race. The weekend culminates with the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Atlanta Motor Speedway is a division of Speedway Motorsports, a leading marketer and promoter of motorsports entertainment in the United States. The company also owns and operates Bristol Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe¿s Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway. For more information, visit the company's website at www.gospeedway.com.