Not the introduction you'd expect from North America's top racecar drivers.
The International Race of Champions, or IROC, existed from 1974 through 2006 as a way to showcase the collective racing talents of series such as NASCAR, IndyCar and endurance road racing in North America. As much talent that was on the track during these 12-car races, the driver introduction for the season-opening 1989 IROC race at Daytona ended up looking like a blooper reel. Check out the driver introduction and stay for some good, old-fashioned classic racing footage.
Among the racers includes IndyCar legends Rick Mears, A.J. Foyt and Danny Sullivan, NASCAR drivers Bill Elliott, Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt as well as endurance road racing experts Hurley Haywood and Scott Pruett. With all this talent, you'd think that the broadcast could have come up with better highlights than what looked to be a demolition derby promo. In fact, the only driver of the 12 not to be shown crashing during his introduction was Hurley Haywood!
As for the race itself, all of the drivers circled Daytona in identically prepared Chevrolet IROC Camaro racecars with speeds that averaged over 187 mph early on. NASCAR drivers dominated early with Earnhardt, Terry Labonte and IROC rookie Rusty Wallace running up front for most of the race along with Indy 500 winner, Al Unser, Jr.
Despite the smash-'em-up style showed in the beginning of the video, the race was run perfectly clean and smooth even with Wallace and Earnhardt drafting their Camaros bumper to bumper around the track. In the end, it was Wallace in his first-ever IROC race who held off Labonte, Earnhardt and Unser, Jr. for his first win in the series. Just two years later, Wallace went on to win his only IROC series championship.