MRN Flashback: 1997 IROC XXI

M.Martin

A victory at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., helped carry Mark Martin to the 1997 IROC championship. (Photo: ISC Archives)

For veteran driver Mark Martin, the inaugural NASCAR weekend at Auto Club Speedway in 1997 was a productive one.

Not only did Martin drive his No. 6 Roush Racing Ford to a top-10 finish in the California 500 Sprint Cup Series race.  He also was victorious in that season’s third round of the International Race of Champions on the two-mile Southern California oval.

Martin started last in the 12-car field but finished first, leading 19 of the 50 laps and beating runner-up Bobby Labonte to the checkered flag by .129 seconds.  Terry Labonte, Randy LaJoie and Jeff Gordon completed the top five.

Martin went on to win the 1997 IROC championship, the 21st season for the series which annually featured drivers from a variety of motor sports disciplines.  His final margin of victory over Robby Gordon was nine points.

Visit MRN.com on Thursday at 12 p.m. (ET) to hear the complete broadcast of the 1997 International Race of Champions from Auto Club Speedway, anchored by Barney Hall and Allen Bestwick.  Motor Racing Network – “The Voice of NASCAR” – features a classic race broadcast each week on “Throwback Thursday” at MRN.com.

Related Topics:

Mark Martin, NASCAR Sprint Cup

Photos

  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • From the Archives: Pocono
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Gordon Wins Fifth at Indy
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • Brickyard 400
  • 1994 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 1995 Brickyard Winner: Dale Earnhardt
  • 1996 Brickyard Winner: Dale Jarrett
  • 1997 Brickyard Winner: Ricky Rudd
  • 1998 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 1999 Brickyard Winner: Dale Jarrett
  • 2000 Brickyard Winner: Bobby Labonte
  • 2001 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 2002 Brickyard Winner: Bill Elliott
  • 2003 Brickyard Winner: Kevin Harvick
  • 2004 Brickyard Winner: Jeff Gordon
  • 2005 Brickyard Winner: Tony Stewart
  • 2006 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2007 Brickyard Winner: Tony Stewart
  • 2008 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2009 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
  • 2010 Brickyard Winner: Jamie McMurray
  • 2011 Brickyard Winner: Paul Menard
  • 2012 Brickyard Winner: Jimmie Johnson
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