Buddy Rice returns to DSTP Atlantic cockpit at Laguna Seca. 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion to fill-in for sidelined Joey Hand Monterey, California (June 4, 2002) -- 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice will return to the driver's...
Buddy Rice returns to DSTP Atlantic cockpit at Laguna Seca.
2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion to fill-in for sidelined Joey Hand
Monterey, California (June 4, 2002) -- 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic champion Buddy Rice will return to the driver's seat for the team that took him to the Atlantic championship title for the fourth round of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season at Laguna Seca Raceway this weekend. Rice is substituting for DSTP Motorsports' regular driver Joey Hand, who was injured in a testing accident in Milwaukee nearly three weeks ago.
"We all want to do well for Joey this weekend," said Rice, who last raced at Laguna Seca in 2000, finishing third after starting third. "It's been awhile since I've been in an Atlantic car, but we're all very motivated for this race. Laguna Seca is one of my favorite tracks and I feel right at home with DSTP. It should be a pretty exciting weekend."
"There's nobody else I'd rather have in the car than Buddy," said Hand, who will be at the track with the team this weekend. "I expect nothing less than wins from him, and my car back in one piece! I've made a lot of progress in the past weeks and am trying to heal as quickly as possible. Dede and the boys have been behind me 100 percent, which keeps my spirits high. I'll do what I can to help DSTP win this one."
Since winning the 2000 Atlantic title, Rice was under contract as a driver with CART's Team Rahal for the 2001 season and tested with Target Chip Ganassi Racing as well as the IRL's Red Bull Cheever Racing team. He's also been a regular fixture with the Miracle Motorsports Grand-Am sports car racing team in the SRP class, and has served as a team advisor to DSTP on car set-up and race strategy since the Atlantic series' third round at Milwaukee last year.
Rice's 2000 Atlantic record with DSTP included five wins, ten podiums and six fastest race laps out of 12 races. This weekend's Atlantic schedule at Laguna Seca begins with practice at 9:00 am on Friday, June 7, followed by the first qualifying session at 12:30 pm. The second round of qualifying begins at 9:00 Saturday morning, followed by the 30-lap race at 3:00 pm PDT.