Victory Tour Keeps Rice Busy in New York City, Argent/Pioneer Honda Driver Honored as Indy 500 Champ Buddy Rings NYSE Bell, Throws Yankees' 1st Pitch, Meets the Media in Other Cities too NEW YORK CITY - Newly crowned Indianapolis 500-Mile...
Victory Tour Keeps Rice Busy in New York City, Argent/Pioneer Honda Driver Honored as Indy 500 Champ
Buddy Rings NYSE Bell, Throws Yankees' 1st Pitch, Meets the Media in Other Cities too
NEW YORK CITY - Newly crowned Indianapolis 500-Mile winner Buddy Rice is still traveling at record speeds this week, just a few days after winning the 88th running of the "Greatest Spectacle In Racing" and collect- ing a record $1.76 million.
Rahal Letterman Racing's Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda driver continued a whirlwind media tour in New York City Tuesday and Wednesday and also hit Washington D.C. and Richmond Thursday and Dallas Ft. Worth on Fri- day before taking a few days to relax at his home in Phoenix.
Rice and his race car hit Times Square on Tuesday in front of a barrage of media and a press conference at ESPNZone. That was followed up by the unique opportunities only afforded an Indy 500 champion as he was able to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wall St. and then throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium for the Yankee-Oriole baseball game. Prior to his baseball throw, Rice was able to discuss cars with leg- endary Reggie Jackson, Yankee manager Joe Torre and various Yankee players including Derek Jeter.
"That was one of the coolest things I have ever done," said a smiling Rice. "Just hanging out with Reggie and talking cars for 30 minutes was unbelievable. Then Joe Torre came out and brought a bunch of the players out to meet and take photos. They had an Indy 500 pool and the guy that won the pool to very happy to see me. There was even a player just called up from AAA and he was in Indy last week when I took batting practice with the In- dians and he was excited to see me again and chat. That was way cool."
On Wednesday, Rice continued his media tour in NYC with a guest appearance on the "Regis and Kelly" Show with Jeff Gordon serving as a co-host. Buddy talked to Jeff and Kelly before Kelly then jumped in Rice's Argent/ Pioneer Honda car on stage. Rice then met the ABC Sports executives before returning to ESPNZone for more interviews. In the afternoon, Buddy toured the city for in- terviews at CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg studios and "Wind Tunnel" on the Speed Channel.
"It's been pretty crazy after Sunday's win," Rice said. "But I'm not complaining at all. Everything is so neat and so organized that I am able to take in as much as possible. I know I'm looking forward to taking a couple of days off on the weekend. Then we are back on more tours next week before the Texas race."
Rice will make an appearance Monday and Tuesday for Argent Mortgage before his appearance on his co-owner's show - "Late Show with David Letterman" - next Wednesday (June 9). Then Buddy will get back to business with racing his Indy car at the Texas Motor Speedway on June 10-12.
Other special appearances are currently in the planning stage for Rice. In the meantime, the Rahal Letterman Rac- ing team is preparing for two testing days and the Texas race.
"Hey, we are currently third in the point standings so we have a championship to go after," said Rice. "We have to concentrate on winning more races and going after the championship. This team can fight for the title."