IRL: Buddy Rice to drive third Cheever car at Michigan

Buddy Rice to drive No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti at Michigan. INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 24, 2002) - Young American racer Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., will drive the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti in the inaugural Michigan...

Buddy Rice to drive No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti at Michigan.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 24, 2002) - Young American racer Buddy Rice of Phoenix, Ariz., will drive the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Infiniti in the inaugural Michigan Indy 400 on July 28. Rice joins Eddie Cheever Jr. and Tomas Scheckter at Red Bull Cheever Racing.

"We have a commitment to ourselves and Red Bull to win races," team owner and driver Eddie Cheever Jr. said. "Buddy, who has been very impressive in testing with us, is joining the team to give us another shot at winning on Sunday. Given our performance at the superspeedways this season, I am hopeful that with three cars in the field Red Bull Cheever Racing can leave Michigan with a victory in hand."

Rice, 26, passed his Indy Racing League rookie test Tuesday at Kentucky Speedway. He is currently scheduled to race only at Michigan. His relationship with Red Bull Cheever Racing started last November when he tested for the team at California Speedway. He signed a testing contract with the team in June.

"This is an excellent opportunity. Red Bull Cheever Racing is one of the top teams in the IRL and they've been fast all year," Buddy Rice said. "Red Bull has been very supportive of my career since 1998 when they signed me as one of their athletes. This is really what we have all been working so hard to achieve."

This season Rice has driven in three sports car races for Miracle Motorsports in the Grand American Rolex series. He competed in the Toyota Atlantic series from 1998 to 2000, racing against IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr. in 1999 and winning the championship in 2000. He started racing go-karts at age 11, winning several national titles.

Rice will drive the Dallara chassis with the same Red Bull paint scheme found on the No. 51 car driven by Cheever, and the No. 52 car of Scheckter. All three cars will be powered by the Infiniti Indy V8 engine and use Firestone tires.

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 and technical partnerships with the world's leading energy drink Red Bull, Nissan North America's Infiniti Division, TWR Group and Lincoln Financial Group greatly enhance the team's resources and technology. For more information, visit www.cheeverindyracing.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Tomas Scheckter , Eddie Cheever , Buddy Rice , Sam Hornish Jr.