Time to Pump the Brakes on a Possible IROC Return This Year

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Pump the Brakes on Possible IROC Return This YearRacingOne - Getty Images

Anyone who got all excited about the announcement in January that Ray Evernham and Rob Kaufmann had acquired the International Race of Champions branding and that IROC was returning to race in 2024 can take the foot off the gas.

First, a little background. IROC was an all-star series that featured contemporary drivers from different disciplines (NASCAR, IndyCar, F1, IMSA, etc.) racing in identically prepared stock cars. The series raced generally four times a year from 1973 through 2006 before closing up shop. Most events were held as support races on NASCAR and CART/Champ Car World Series (now IndyCar) race weekends.

Evernham, whose IROC Holdings LLC group recently purchased the IROC branding, said in a press release in January that "IROC Holdings plans to bring the historic brand back to life.”


Many race fans assumed—or at least hoped—that "bring back to life" wording meant that IROC was truly returning to a race schedule, likely replacing the now-defunct Superstars Racing Experience (SRX) all-star series that competed from 2021-2023. The SRX was co-founded by Evernham and Tony Stewart, but Evernham was curiously absent from the project not long after its launch.

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Al Unser Jr. (IndyCar), Mark Martin (NASCAR) and Scott Pruett (IMSA) race identically prepared Pontiacs during the 1996 IROC season.RacingOne - Getty Images

The SRX dissolved earlier this year due what organizers curiously called "market factors," despite the fact that it appeared that nearly every race was a sellout and the SRX had a weeknight prime-time TV deal with initially CBS and then ESPN.

Re-enter Evernham to the picture.

The latest IROC hype came in the form of a press announcement today that "first IROC event to be held in nearly 20 years is set to take place July 19-20 at Lime Rock Park as part of the SpeedTour All-Star Race weekend. Featuring both an on-track racing exhibition and static display, the event will reunite original IROC competitors with cars actually raced in the legendary series."

So, it looks like the "first IROC event to be held in nearly 20 years" will be little more than a reunion of maybe a few past IROC racers, a chance to get up close to a handful of vintage IROC cars, and a gathering of folks who may have a collector IROC car in their personal stables.

Oh, that's not to say that the IROC reunion at Lime Rock won't be fun. But it won't exactly be a made-for-TV racing event with bragging rights on the line to fill the void left by SRX's departure.

The Lime Rock event will have an all-star race on its schedule, just not one under the IROC banner, as there will be a 60-minute SpeedTour All-Star Race which organizers say will bring experienced racers from Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar and IMSA, and pair them with competitors from the Trans Am TA2 Series to compete as co-drivers in a race that will be broadcast live on MAVTV during the July 19-20 event.

“The event at Lime Rock Park will serve as a great way to kick off what is sure to be an exciting journey to reignite the magic IROC had during its original 30+ year run,” said Rob Kauffman. “We hope this is just one of many announcements for IROC in 2024.”

Here's what we can expect at Lime Rock, courtesy of the new IROC group:

The IROC event at Lime Rock Park will feature original IROC race cars on track and on display in the IROC paddock throughout the weekend. Fans will have the opportunity to see nearly every generation of IROC race car with many being driven by former IROC drivers. A fan-forward display, the IROC paddock will feature appearances by some of the original IROC racers, Q&A sessions and IROC-branded merchandise.

IROC has also opened entry applications for anyone who owns IROC race cars and would like to display or drive them in the event. Those interested in applying can visit for more information. In addition, IROC has simultaneously launched their official webstore at

Here's hoping future IROC announcements involve real International Race of Champions-style racing.

Some of us are already missing Friday night SRX.