INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 25, 2002) - Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., has signed a multiyear contract with Red Bull Cheever Racing to drive in the Indy Racing League championship.
"We are pleased to officially sign Buddy" team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "Buddy demonstrated last season that he is professional, fast and able to lead this team into the future. It doesn't hurt that he is one of the top American drivers, either."
Rice, 26, joined Red Bull Cheever Racing in July for the Michigan race, where he finished second. In his five races with the team, Rice completed every lap of every race. He finished among the top 10 in four of his five races with the team.
"I am really happy to be with Red Bull Cheever Racing, it's an excellent team," Rice said. "It was the next obvious step to my short run with them last season. This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I am pumped to get the 2003 championship started."
Buddy Rice competed in the Toyota Atlantic series from 1998 to 2000, winning the championship in 2000. He started racing go-karts at age 11, winning several national titles.
This opportunity continues Rice's long association with Red Bull.
"We see Buddy as one of our success stories," Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said. "We first signed him as one of our athletes in 1998, and he has matured into a very good race car driver. I am pleased to see him driving for our own Indy Racing League team."
Red Bull Cheever Racing, based in Indianapolis, is the brainchild of 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. A leader in American motorsports, the Indy Racing League team is built on Cheever's experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel oval racing. Corporate partnerships include the world's leading energy drink Red Bull and Lincoln Financial Group. For more information, visit www.cheeverindyracing.com.