Buddy Rice qualifies for first Indy 500. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 11, 2003) -- Buddy Rice achieved a career milestone today, qualifying for his first Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt. He put the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever ...
Buddy Rice qualifies for first Indy 500.
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 11, 2003) -- Buddy Rice achieved a career milestone today, qualifying for his first Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt. He put the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Chevy/Firestone solidly in the field with a four-lap average speed of 226.213 mph. He currently sits in row six in the 19th position.
"It was a good run," Rice said. "We are pretty happy. The car was as trimmed out as we could get it. That's all she had in her. We've been running the same numbers all week long. Today we just wanted to get the Red Bull Chevy in the show. We have a lot of hard work now to get ready for the race."
Team owner Eddie Cheever Jr. waved the green flag on Rice's qualifying run. This is the first time in 13 years that Cheever has not attempted to qualify for the Indy 500.
"Buddy (Rice) and Kelly (Loewen, Lead engineer) have done an excellent job for their first Indianapolis 500," Cheever said. "They are very methodical. They have focused on getting their work done every day. Buddy did his best lap, by himself, in qualifying, under very difficult circumstances. I am very happy with the entire Red Bull crew.
"Now we are all concentrating on getting the Chevy package as far up the grid as we can. It will take a lot of work from the teams and General Motors. The will is there. As angry as I might be that we don't have the best engine, I know for a fact that all the executives at Chevy are one hundred times more angry than I am. We are all very motivated."
The 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 is set for May 25. The race will be televised live on ABC and by the Indy Racing Radio Network. Live timing and scoring of all on-track activity can be found on www.indyracing.com.
Red Bull Cheever Racing, based in Indianapolis, is the brainchild of 1998 Indy 500 champion Eddie Cheever Jr. A leader in American motorsports, the IRL IndyCar Series team is built on Cheever's experience in Formula One, sports cars and open-wheel oval racing. Corporate and technical partnerships include the world's leading energy drink Red Bull, Menards, Chevrolet, Dallara, Firestone and Menard Cheever Technologies. For more information visit www.cheeverracing.com.