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Crown Royal IROC Series Announces 2006 Driver Field

Five-time Series Winner Mark Martin Enters Historic 30th Anniversary Season as Reigning Champion

Daytona Beach, FL, January 17, 2006 - Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) officials announced today the driver field and race event schedule for the 2006 Crown Royal IROC Series.

The four-race invitational all-star series, which matches 12 drivers from different disciplines of auto racing in equally prepared cars, will open its historic 30th season February 17 at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). Five-time Crown Royal IROC Series and 2005 champion Mark Martin will look to capture consecutive series crowns for the first time since Dale Earnhardt accomplished the feat in the 1999-2000 seasons. Martin won three in row from 1996-1998 and owns an IROC-record 13 checkered flags.

The 2006 driver field will consist of representation from seven major racing series, including six drivers that captured their respective series championship in 2005.

The 2006 Crown Royal IROC Series drivers vying for the $1 million championship purse include:

Driver Series Representing
Mark Martin NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (2005 Crown Royal IROC champion)
Tony Stewart NASCAR NEXTEL Cup (2005 Series champion)
Martin Truex Jr. NASCAR Busch Series (2005 Series champion)
Steve Kinser World of Outlaws (2005 Series champion)
Ted Musgrave NASCAR Craftsman Truck (2005 Series champion)
Frank Kimmel ARCA Re/Max Series (2005 Series champion)
Max Angelelli / Wayne Taylor Grand American Road Racing (2005 Series champions)
Max Papis Open-wheel and road racing disciplines
Carl Edwards NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series
Sam Hornish, Jr. IRL IndyCar Series
Scott Sharp IRL IndyCar Series
Matt Kenseth NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series

"For three decades, IROC has tried to bring together the very best champion drivers from all forms of racing disciplines," said Jay Signore, IROC President. "This year, our 30th season, is no different. We have another strong field and look forward to the competition heating up at Daytona."

The Crown Royal IROC Series will consist of four races on diverse race tracks. In an effort to return to its roots for this historic season, the Crown Royal IROC Series will compete on a road course for the first time in 14 years, when it does on the famed road course at DIS on Thursday, June 29, in conjunction with the NASCAR Cup race weekend. Sandwiched between the two DIS events will be Race Two at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, April 7, with the season finale at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, October 28.

"It is an honor to partner with a racing series that involves the world's best race car drivers," said James Lorenz, Senior Brand Manager, Crown Royal. "The Crown Royal IROC driver lineup for 2006 is an exemplary group that represents the finest characteristics of racing on and off the track. This series, with its distinct history and consistent line-up of champions, continues to be the perfect platform to advance our 'Be a Champion. Drink Responsibly,' campaign."

2006 Crown Royal IROC Series Driver Field

Mark Martin, reigning Crown Royal IROC Series champion, owns a record-best five series titles and 13-career wins. Last season, Martin placed fourth in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup final point standings with one win, 12 top-five and 19 top-10 finishes. Martin drives for Roush Racing's AAA NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team.

Tony Stewart claimed fives checkered flags, including the Brickyard 400, on his way to capturing the NASCAR NEXTEL Series title in 2005. This was Stewart's second crown (2002) in the seven seasons that he has competed in NASCAR Cup. During his first championship campaign, he captured five races, three poles and 17 top-five finishes. Stewart drives for the Home Depot team of Joe Gibbs Racing.

Two-time NASCAR Busch Series champion (2005, '04) Martin Truex Jr. returns for his second season in the Crown Royal IROC Series after finishing second in his series debut in 2005. Truex is the first driver in the 24-year history of the NBS to amass more than $3 million. Truex represents the Dale Earnhardt Incorporated Bass Pro Shop team.

Twenty-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, representing the Quaker State team, had a stellar year in 2005, highlighted by capturing the series title. Other major races won in 2005 included: his 10th Eagle Nationals, 6th Kings Royal, 12th Gold Cup Race of champion and the Eagle Short Track Nationals. Kinser's 2006 invite will be his seventh appearance in IROC.

Ted Musgrave, the 2005 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, will make his first start in the Crown Royal IROC Series. His career earnings totaled $3,772,884 to rank the veteran competitor third all-time in the NCTS.

Frank Kimmel, the 2005 and seven-time ARCA champion, joined Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt as the only drivers in the history of stock car auto racing to win seven titles on a national tour that competes on both short-tracks and super speedways. He will make his IROC debut this season.

Teammates Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor were the 2005 Grand American Rolex Series champions, representing the Sun Trust Prototype team. Taylor was the recipient of the 2005 top driver award.

Taylor and Angelelli will share the ride with each doing two of the four races in their quest for the 2006 Crown Royal IROC Championship. The driver team approach replicates the format of the Grand American Road Racing Series.

The team approach allows for the Grand American Road Racing Series to be represented despite a scheduling conflict with the Grand American event in Long Beach, Ca. and Crown Royal IROC Race Two at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7.

One driver will be able to leave the Long Beach event while the other remains to handle on- track activities.

Representing road racing and open-wheel racing disciplines, Max Papis makes a return to the IROC Series after his debut in 2005. Papis earned wins in the 2005 Grand Prix of Atlanta and at Laguna Seca in the SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT class. In 2004, Papis won the Grand American Road Racing championship with teammate Scott Pruett.

Carl Edwards, who represents the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series of Roush Racing's Office Depot Team, finished third in the 2005 final points standings. In addition, Edwards claimed five checkered flags and the Raybestos Rookie of the Year award in the NASCAR Busch Series en route to a third-place series finish.

Sam Hornish Jr., a two-time IRL IndyCar Series champion (2001, '02), finished third in the series championship points for Marlboro Team Penske. Last season, he had nine top-five finishes, 12 top-10 finishes and received the Marlboro Pole Award at Motegi (Japan), Richmond and Milwaukee.

Also representing the IRL IndyCar Series is 1996 co-champion Scott Sharp, who placed fifth in the series last year with the Delphi Fernandez team. He recorded six top-five and 13 top-10 finishes, highlighted by a career-best seventh-place finish at the 89th Indianapolis 500.

Representing the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Matt Kenseth finished seventh in series championship points with one win, 12 top-five and 16 top-10 finishes. Kenseth is the 2003 NASCAR Cup champion and the 2004 IROC champion.

Tickets for the Crown Royal IROC Series opening race and other Daytona Speedweeks events are available online at: www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling the Daytona International Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.


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