IROC Holdings LLC, a joint venture between NASCAR Hall of Fame member Ray Evernham and former NASCAR Cup Team Owner Rob Kauffman, has announced the acquisition of the rights to the IROC brand. IROC, which operated from 1973 to 2006, was known for bringing together some of the greatest racers from around the world to compete in equal equipment on various race tracks.
Ray Evernham, who won three NASCAR Cup titles with legendary driver Jeff Gordon and helped form the Superstar Racing Experience (SRX), will be involved in the revival of the IROC brand. The official release stated that IROC Holdings plans to bring the historic brand back to life and intends to hold an IROC racing event in 2024 with historic IROC race cars. The company will be based in Mooresville, N.C.
The IROC series was originally created by Les Richter, Roger Penske, and Mike Phelps as an all-star motorsports event. Drivers competed in identically prepared stock cars, with each car set up by the same team of mechanics to test driver ability. The invited drivers, usually 12 in number, came from various racing disciplines, including NASCAR, IndyCar, F1, sports car racing, and sprint cars.
Mark Donohue was the first driver to win an IROC title in 1974 but tragically died in a wreck during practice for the 1975 Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix. The IROC series faced financial difficulties in 2007 and went on hiatus before being discontinued in 2008.
Tony Stewart, a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, was the final IROC champion in 2006. Mark Martin holds the record for the most titles with five and the most individual race wins with 13. The list of IROC champions includes racing icons such as Mario Andretti and A.J. Foyt.
With the acquisition of the IROC brand, IROC Holdings aims to revive the historic series and continue its legacy in the world of motorsports.