Daytona Thrills Lazier

Besides the $1 million check and the bragging rights, another perk that goes along with being the Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion is an invitation to take part in the annual International Race of Champions.

On Monday, Buddy Lazier took advantage of the invite and tested an IROC Pontiac Firebird on the 2.5-mile tri-oval at Daytona International Raceway. It was the first time Lazier has ever taken laps around the oval, although he has raced on the 3.56-mile road course.

"I've never been in a stock car before," said Lazier, who won two races this year on the way to the IRNLS title. "But I've always been a big Winston Cup and IROC fan, so this has been a big thrill for me."

Lazier is one of three IRNLS regulars who will be part of the four-race IROC series next year. Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever will also compete in the all-star series, which gets under way Feb. 16 during Speedweeks.

Winston Cup veteran Dave Marcis, Busch Series veteran Dick Trickle, ARCA veteran Andy Hillenburg and Jim Sauter served as Lazier's professors during the IROC test session, which continues Tuesday.

"Basically, I'm showing Buddy the parameters of the track and getting him comfortable in the car," Hillenburg said. "Buddy's a professional.

"Within three laps he was as fast as he needed to be."

This past season, Greg Ray, Mark Dismore and Cheever represented the IRNLS is IROC.

Cheever won the IROC race at Michigan. It was the first victory for an open-wheel driver in IROC since Al Unser Jr. accomplished the feat in 1997.

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Auto Club 500

@ Auto Club Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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