IRL: Cheever Racing Test in the West notes 2003-02-08

Rice, Red Bull Cheever Racing make progress at Phoenix Test in the West. AVONDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2003) - Phoenix native Buddy Rice and Red Bull Cheever Racing made progress during the two-day test at Phoenix International Raceway. Rice ...

Rice, Red Bull Cheever Racing make progress at Phoenix Test in the West.

AVONDALE, Ariz. (Feb. 8, 2003) - Phoenix native Buddy Rice and Red Bull Cheever Racing made progress during the two-day test at Phoenix International Raceway.

Rice completed 199 laps of testing on the one-mile oval, with a top speed of 171.028 mph (21.05 seconds.) The test was the final portion of the week-long IRL Test in the West which also had teams testing at California Speedway earlier this week.

"I saw Red Bull Cheever Racing make a vast improvement in this past week of testing," managing director Max Jones said. "We are really starting to come together and gel as a team."

Red Bull Cheever Racing concentrated on suspension testing during the 140 laps completed on Friday. Saturday the team made serious gains in handling during the 59 laps Buddy drove in the No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara-Chevrolet-Firestone entry.

The otherwise productive test ended a few hours early on Saturday when Rice spun and hit the wall in turn two. It was his first crash in any test or race since joining Red Bull Cheever Racing last season, when he finished every lap of each of his five races with the team.

"We struggled a little bit yesterday, but learned a lot with our suspension work," Rice said. "Today we had the car comfortable. We could really start working with it. Then I backed into the outside wall in the middle of turn two. Obviously, we stepped over the edge, made a small mistake and paid the price."

"We made some big gains in testing today," Max Jones said. "Buddy was trying hard and doing really well. Right before the wreck the car was the best it has been all year. This is Buddy's first accident in an IndyCar Series car. Everbody has to have one of those."

From Phoenix, the team travels home to Indianapolis to prepare for a two-day test at Homestead-Miami Speedway Feb. 17 and 18. The team returns to Phoenix March 23 for the Purex Dial Indy 200, the second race of the IRL IndyCar Series season. The season-opening Toyota Indy 300 is March 2 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

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.

-cr-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Eddie Cheever , Buddy Rice , Max Jones