Gordon Pulls Out Of IROC

Jeff Gordon’s a busy man these days, and it shows when he has to decline an invitation to drive in the International Race of Champions Series.

The 2001 Winston Cup champion, who has six IROC seasons under his belt, will not participate in the 2002 IROC Series. He cited several factors for his decision.

“It’s definitely an honor to be recognized by IROC and compete against an elite group of drivers,” said Gordon, driver of the DuPont Chevrolet. “I’ll never forget the first invitation I received from IROC in 1995. It was very exciting.

“Unfortunately, due to the demands on my time with the number of races on the NASCAR Winston Cup schedule and commitments to my sponsors, in addition to my increased involvement with the No. 24 and No. 48 teams, I have to decline the invitation. This decision was made after lengthy discussions with my wife, my team and Rick Hendrick.”

Gordon did not participate in the series last year, but did so from 1995 to 2000. He finished fourth in the four-race series in his inaugural campaign. He was 10th overall in 1996, 6th in 1997, third in 1998, fifth in 1999 and sixth in 2000.

He won his only IROC race in the season opener at Daytona in 1998.

Several Winston Cup drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 2001 Rookie of the Year Kevin Harvick, will participate next season. Races will be held at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 15; California Speedway on April 27; Chicagoland Speedway on July 13; and Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 3.

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