Indianapolis 500 Champion Buddy Rice and Rahal Letterman Team To Meet President at White House INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 16, 2004 -- Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice and team members from Rahal Letterman Racing, along with Indy Racing...
Indianapolis 500 Champion Buddy Rice and Rahal Letterman Team To Meet President at White House
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, July 16, 2004 -- Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice and team members from Rahal Letterman Racing, along with Indy Racing League President Tony George, will visit the White House on Monday, July 19, to meet with United States President George W. Bush. Along with the team, the Borg Warner Trophy and the winning car from this year's 500-Mile Race will be on display on the South Lawn of the White House.
Rice, winner of the 88th Indianapolis 500, continues his post-win media tour, which has kept him busy since the checkered flag fell on May 30. Rice also was the winner of the last IRL IndyCarâ Series event at Kansas Speedway on July 4.
"It will be a great honor to be at the White House and meet President Bush," Rice said. "I think it is a huge statement for IndyCar (Series) racing that we'll have our Indy 500-winning car and the Borg Warner Trophy at the White House. I'm honored that I was American and won the biggest auto race in the world. I'm very excited for this opportunity."
Rice is the first winner to visit the White House following his 500 victory since Rick Mears visited the current President's father, George H.W. Bush, in 1991. Team co-owner Rahal has been to the White House in the past, but never as an owner of a winning car.
"I was fortunate to go to the White House previously, but this event is such a monumental moment for our Rahal Letterman Racing team," Rahal said. "I couldn't be happier for Buddy and the entire Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda squad. They enjoyed one of the best months ever at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and to take that car and the team to the White House and meet the President is a great honor."
Since winning the Indianapolis 500, Rice has been on a whirlwind victory tour that has taken him to the set of "The Late Show with David Letterman," the New York Stock Exchange, "Live with Regis and Kelly," and numerous media appearances and interviews across the country. The tour will continue through the remainder of the season, including a stop at Wrigley Field on Thursday, July 22. But Monday's trip to the White House is a highlight of the season.
"This opportunity to go to the White House and meet the President is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for our team and Buddy," Rahal Letterman COO and General Manager Scott Roembke said. "They had a great month of May and winning the Indianapolis 500-Mile Race was reaching the pinnacle of our sport. It is so exciting for the President and his staff to recognize our accomplishment and we thank them very much."
The IndyCar Series schedule continues July 17 with the Firestone Indy 200 from Nashville SuperSpeedway, beginning at 7 pm (EDT) on ESPN, on the IMS Radio Network and audio Webcast on www.indyracing.com/indycar.