NASCAR fan-favorite series set to return after 18 years

The International Race of Champions (IROC) racing series is set to return this summer, giving fans an additional non-NASCAR racing series to enjoy.
Tony Stewart, IROC
Tony Stewart, IROC / Kevin Kane/GettyImages

The International Race of Champions (IROC) is set to return this summer with the help of NASCAR Hall of Famer Ray Evernham. Evernham, who also helped fellow NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart debut the SRX Racing Series in 2021, partnered with former NASCAR team co-owner Rob Kauffman to revive the brand of racing that had been a mainstay from 1974 through 2006.

When SRX announced that it was canceling the 2024 season, it seemed that NASCAR would be providing the only oval stock car racing series fans would be able to watch this summer.

However, Evernham, Kauffman, and the rest of the IROC team plan to have a product to put out this summer for racing fans as well.

NASCAR fan-favorite series set for July return

IROC is set to return at Lime Rock Park, a seven-turn, 1.53-mile (2.462-kilometer) road course in Salisbury, Connecticut, as a part of the SpeedTour All-Star Race weekend from Friday, July 19 to Saturday, July 20. Past generations of IROC vehicles will also be on display and driven by former series drivers.

It remains unclear who will be driving the IROC vehicles, but in an interview with Toby Christie from Racing America, PMH CEO Tony Parella stated the following:

"This is quickly shaping up to be one of the most exciting motorsports events in recent memory — we already have 16 legends committed to race in the SpeedTour All-Star race, with a field that includes Daytona 500 and Indianapolis 500 champions, IROC winners, and drivers who have stood atop the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Nürburgring, and Daytona. Adding IROC adds even more star power to an already exciting event. IROC was where the best-of-the-best drivers went to race and prove themselves among their competitors. As Ray and Rob relaunch the IROC brand, we’re thrilled to be a part of this first outing."

Tony Parella

The original IROC series was dominated by the likes of Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte , Al Unser Jr., Kurt Busch, and Kevin Harvick. While some of those names may be able to return once more, the absence of others leaves a major mystery as to who will compete in the re-formed IROC vehicles this summer.

A return of the series could provide a platform for some of those established veterans and also a stepping stone for local legends and ringers who are looking to showcase their talents on a larger scale.

Next. NASCAR rewarded for not making a knee-jerk decision. NASCAR rewarded for not making a knee-jerk decision. dark

Regardless, after SRX's cancellation, NASCAR fans may have another opportunity to watch a legends-type league this summer with the return of IROC.