Chesterland, Ohio (May 28, 2002) -- Dede Rogers, owner of DSTP Motorsports, today announced that Buddy Rice will return to the driver's seat for the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship-winning team, beginning with the series' fourth round at ...
Chesterland, Ohio (May 28, 2002) -- Dede Rogers, owner of DSTP Motorsports, today announced that Buddy Rice will return to the driver's seat for the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship-winning team, beginning with the series' fourth round at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Rice will step in for Joey Hand, who is recuperating from injuries sustained from a testing accident at the Milwaukee Mile on Friday, May 17. The team will not compete in this weekend's race at Milwaukee.
"We're delighted to have Buddy back in the car," said Rogers, whose team won the 2000 CART Toyota Atlantic title in its rookie Atlantic season with Rice. "He's one of the best drivers in the country and an integral part of the DSTP family. We felt that this was the best decision for the team, and for Joey. He and Joey work very well together, and we feel that Buddy's expertise will be invaluable to continuing with the development of the new Swift. We're hopeful to get Joey back in the car as soon as possible but, until then, we know that Buddy will give his all to keep DSTP up front."
"I'm pleasantly surprised that the team turned to me to fill-in for Joey," said Rice, who won the 2000 Atlantic title with five wins, ten podiums and six fastest race laps out of 12 races while driving for DSTP. "I've always said that I would do whatever was in the best interests of Dede and the team, so when they asked, I felt it was the right decision. Joey's put a lot of work into developing this car, so it's important to keep this information in-house and to keep working closely with him over the next several races until he's ready to jump back in. In the meantime, it's going to be great to be back in the cockpit of an Atlantic car, and I can't thank Dede and the team enough for what should be some pretty exciting races ahead."
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.