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IROC - International Race of Champions - 1974

IROC - International Race of Champions

IROC 28 (2004)

Ryan Newman took the win in Race #1 at Daytona International Speedway.
It was a storybook season for the 28th running of the International Race of Champions with 2004, undoubtedly being touted as the most evolutionary season in the series’ history.

It all started in January with the announcement of Diageo brand, Crown Royal as new entitlement sponsor, the series went on to list out various other changes including:

•Three new race venues: Texas Motor Speedway (race two), Richmond International Raceway (race three), Atlanta Motor Speedway (race four).
•Races running under the lights three out of the four events: Daytona, Texas, Richmond.
•A shootout element in each race: The unique race format change incorporates a predetermined competition yellow, which pays bonus points to the top three positions. For the restart, the field realigns with the leader in a single row. The remainder of the field, in order of position, forms double file rows with each driver having lane choice.
•A new approach to the look of the race cars: Car colors and numbers, when feasible, resemble those of the driver’s native series team and stay with the driver throughout the four races.
•Restructuring the purse to award $1 million to the series champion.
•New broadcast partner, SPEED Channel, televising three of the four races live with the fourth race being a same-day broadcast.

Danny Lasoski won his first IROC event in Texas.

Per tradition, the Inaugural Crown Royal IROC opener took place in February at Daytona International Speedway, but the tradition ended there with the race running for the first time under the lights, just adding to all the action and excitement Daytona provides.

The crowd was never in their seats cheering as they watched Ryan Newman dicing with Kurt Busch coming to the stripe in the final lap. Newman edged out the defending IROC champion and garnered his firs series win, but not without controversy. Newman and Busch nearly collided coming into the tri-oval resulting in Newman's tires going below the yellow line before he completed the winning pass. Officials declared the out-of-bounds incident as unintentional and unavoidable without causing a wreck and awarded Newman his first career IROC trophy.

The series continued live, under the lights in April at Texas Motor Speedway with Danny “the dude” Lasoski capturing his first series victory and becoming only the second driver representing short track open wheel racing to do so. Lasoski’s popular win over the best in NASCAR and open

Lasoski put on a show for the fans after taking the checker for his first career IROC win.
wheel reverberated throughout the remainder of the season, along with his unique celebratory burnout, which was etched into the memories of everybody watching. Lasoski planted the nose of his #20 orange Crown Royal IROC car up against the fence under the flag stand and floored it, filling the place with smoke as he took his winning Goodyear Eagle Radials down to the cords.

Race three introduced the first short track event in the history of the series with Richmond International Raceway hosting its first Crown Royal IROC event.
In another first, series rookie, Matt Kenseth dominated the show taking his first IROC win, which put him back in the championship running after an early retirement in race two at Texas.

Matt Kenseth took the win in the last two events and was crowned the first $1 million dollar champion in IROC history.

Entering the Atlanta finale the new race format and corresponding bonus points implemented in February 2004 had produced the closest points battle in the history of the series with only 13-points separating the top-five spots and seven of the twelve drivers in contention for the championship.

Ryan Newman led by four-points over tying second spot drivers, Matt Kenseth and Jimmie Johnson with a total of seven drivers in the hunt for the first $1 million Crown Royal IROC championship.

The racing action was plentiful with passing for position lap after lap. The championship battle went right down to the checker flag with Matt Kenseth winning by 0.257 second over Ryan Newman, claiming his second consecutive series race win and taking the first $1 million Crown Royal IROC championship, all in his rookie year of IROC competition.

Being in the right place at the right time summed it up for Kenseth, who was in position and collected two bonus points for being in second place at the lap 45 competition yellow and picked up an additional three bonus points at the conclusion of the race for leading second most laps. If not for Kenseth's five bonus points Newman, finishing second, would have won the $1 million dollar championship by virtue of the tiebreaker, having the best average finish over all four races. (from IROC Website)

Final Points

IROC 28 Champion
Matt Kenseth


Position
Driver/Sanction
Points
Money Earned
1
Matt Kenseth/NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
72
$1,000,000.00
2
Ryan Newman/NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
67
$80,000.00
3
Kevin Harvick/NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
55
$80,000.00
4
*Jimmie Johnson/NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
54
$80,000.00
5
*Kurt Busch/NASCAR NEXTEL Cup
54
$80,000.00
6
Danny Lasoski/World of Outlaws
51
$80,000.00
7
Scott Sharp/IRL IndyCarâ„¢ Series
32
$80,000.00
8
Travis Kvapil/NASCAR Craftsman Truck
31
$80,000.00
9
Helio Castroneves/IRL IndyCar™ Series
28
$80,000.00
10
*Scott Dixon/IRL IndyCar™ Series
26
$80,000.00
11
*Steve Kinser/World of Outlaws
26
$80,000.00
12
J. J. Yeley/USAC
20
$80,000.00

2004 News Index

Race One

 
February 13, 2003
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
2.5-mile high-banked oval, 40 laps, 100 miles

OFFICIAL RESULTS -- RACE ONE
FINISH START CAR NAME:
LAPS:
STATUS:
1 1 12 Ryan Newman 40 Running
2 8 97 Kurt Busch 40 Running
3 5 17 Matt Kenseth 40 Running
4 2 48 Jimmie Johnson 40 Running
5 4 11 Steve Kinser 40 Running
6 12 03 Helio Castroneves 40 Running
7 9 29 Kevin Harvick 40 Running
8 10 1 Scott Dixon 40 Running
9 6 8 Scott Sharp 40 Running
10 7 24 Travis Kvapil 40 Running
11 11 80 J.J. Yeley 40 Running
12 3 20 Danny Lasoski 40 Running

Time of Race: 39min, 44sec
Average Speed: 151.007
Margin of Victory: 0.035
Caution Flags : 1 Competition Yellow (at Lap 25)
Lead Changes: 14 among 6 drivers
Lap Leaders: 1-3 Newman, 4-6 Kenseth, 7-13 Johnson, 14-15 Harvick, 16-17 Busch, 18 Kenseth, 19-21 Johnson, 22 Newman, 23-24 Johnson, 25-32 Harvick, 33-35 Kinser, 36-39 Busch, 40 Newman


Race Two

April 2, 2004
Texas Motor Speedway
Ft. Worth, TX
1.5-mile oval, 67 laps, 100.5 miles

OFFICIAL RESULTS -- RACE TWO
FINISH START CAR NAME:
LAPS:
STATUS:
1
1
20
Danny Lasoski
67
Running
2
6
29
Kevin Harvick
67
Running
3
9
48
Jimmie Johnson
67
Running
4
12
12
Ryan Newman
67
Running
5
3
24
Travis Kvapil
67
Running
6
4
8
Scott Sharp
67
Running
7
7
03
Helio Castroneves
67
Running
8
8
11
Steve Kinser
67
Running
9
5
1
Scott Dixon
67
Running
10
2
80
J.J. Yeley
67
Running
11
11
97
Kurt Busch
67
Running
12
10
17
Matt Kenseth
3
Running

Time of Race: 51min, 33sec
Average Speed: 116.983
Margin of Victory: 0.333

Caution Flags: 2

Lead Changes: None

Lap Leaders: 1-67 Lasoski


Race Three

 
September 9, 2004
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA
.75-mile oval, 90 laps, 67.5 miles.

OFFICIAL RESULTS -- RACE THREE
FINISH START CAR NAME:
LAPS:
STATUS:
1
4
17
Matt Kenseth
90
Running
2
11
12
Ryan Newman
90
Running
3
8
97
Kurt Busch
90
Running
4
9
48
Jimmie Johnson
90
Running
5
12
29
Kevin Harvick
90
Running
6
3
8
Scott Sharp
90
Running
7
1
80
J.J. Yeley
90
Running
8
6
03
Helio Castroneves
90
Running
9
2
1
Scott Dixon
90
Running
10
10
20
Danny Lasoski
90
Running
11
5
24
Travis Kvapil
90
Running
12
7
11
Steve Kinser
38
Mechanical

Time of Race: 45min. 55 sec.
Average Speed: 88.219mph
Margin of Victory: 2.759 seconds
Caution Flags: 1
Lead Changes: 1
Lap Leaders: 1-5 Sharp, 6-90 Kenseth


Race Four

 
October 30, 2004
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Hampton, GA
1.5-mile oval, 65 laps, 97.5 miles

OFFICIAL RESULTS -- RACE FOUR
FINISH START CAR NAME:
LAPS:
STATUS:
1
10
17
Matt Kenseth
65
Running
2
11
12
Ryan Newman
65
Running
3
6
20
Danny Lasoski
65
Running
4
7
97
Kurt Busch
65
Running
5
3
24
Travis Kvapil
65
Running
6
9
48
Jimmie Johnson
65
Running
7
8
29
Kevin Harvick
65
Running
8
12
1
Scott Dixon
65
Running
9
2
11
Steve Kinser
65
Running
10
5
8
Scott Sharp
65
Running
11
4
03
Helio Castroneves
25
Accident
12
1
80
J.J. Yeley
25
Accident

Time of Race: 59min. 29 sec.
Average Speed: 100.983mph
Margin of Victory: .257 seconds
Caution Flags: 2 - Competition Yellow Thrown at Lap 45
Lead Changes: 4 among 4 drivers
Lap Leaders: 1 Kinser, 2-6 Busch, 7-52 Harvick, 53-65 Kenseth