2004 INDY 500 CHAMPION BUDDY RICE CLEARED TO RACE IN TEXAS ON JUNE 9-11 HILLIARD, Ohio (June 1, 2005) -- Dr. Henry Bock, senior director, medical services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IRL IndyCarÂ® Series, announced today that ...
2004 INDY 500 CHAMPION BUDDY RICE CLEARED TO RACE IN TEXAS ON JUNE 9-11
HILLIARD, Ohio (June 1, 2005) -- Dr. Henry Bock, senior director, medical services for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IRL IndyCar® Series, announced today that Rahal Letterman Racing's Buddy Rice, the 2004 Indy 500 champion, has been cleared to compete in the June 11 Bombardier Learjet 500K IRL IndyCar® Series race at the Texas Motor Speedway.
Rice was injured on May 11 in a single-car crash in turn two at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice runs in his No. 15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda/Panoz/ Firestone car. Rice suffered a concussion and neck injury in the incident and was forced to sit out the 89th running of the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race last Sunday, May 29.
After the crash, it was discovered that Rice suffered a partially torn spinal ligament in his mid to lower neck area that is essential to maintaining the alignment of the spine. Doctors recommended rest and rehabilitation for three weeks for Rice. On Tuesday, Rice took an MRI examination with Dr. Terry Trammell, the renowned spinal surgeon in Indianapolis.
Following Rice's injury, Bobby Rahal announced Kenny Brack as the replacement driver for the No.15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda/Panoz/Firestone machine and the former Indy 500 champion did not disappoint by recording the fastest qualifying speed of the 33-car field at 227.598 miles per hour. Brack retired early from the Indy 500 after mechanical problem with his car on lap 92. Brack was awarded the Scott Brayton Driver's Award for his return to racing this month.
Rice has been in rehabilitation for his neck injury throughout the last three weeks in the Indianapolis area and the Phoenix driver served as a consultant for Brack, Vitor Meira and Danica Patrick at this year's Indy 500.
Rice will be ready for racing action when practice runs begin on Thursday, June 9, at 2 p.m. at Texas Motor Speedway.