"Rice heads to Michigan where he made an impressive IndyCar debut in 2002" FAST FACTS: Sunday, July 27 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, Live on ABC Round 10 of 16 of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series Michigan International Speedway, 200 laps, 2-mile...
"Rice heads to Michigan where he made an impressive IndyCar debut in 2002"
Sunday, July 27 at 3:00 p.m. EDT, Live on ABC
Round 10 of 16 of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series
Michigan International Speedway, 200 laps, 2-mile D-shaped oval
Driver: Buddy Rice, No. 52 Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone
BUDDY RICE ON MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY:
"Last year at Michigan was my first chance driving for Red Bull Cheever Racing. I knew I had to get out there and make a statement to try to secure a ride for the 2003 season. Luckily, I had a great race and pulled off a second place finish for the team. Our performance was so impressive, that it's unfortunate that we probably won't be able to match it this year. We're going to try our best to finish in the top ten and give the fans a great race to watch. The Firestone Indy 400 is a good race for fans because the cars will be running two to three wide with plenty of chances for passing and always an exciting finish."
Rice's best finish ever in the IndyCar Series is second in his first race in 2002 at Michigan. In addition to this second place finish, Red Bull Cheever Racing also took home the number one position with Tomas Scheckter, completing an outstanding 1-2 finish for the team.
Last weekend at the Firestone Indy 200, Rice battled back from a broken water pipe to finish in 18th position. With his finish, Rice moved 34 points ahead of Robbie Buhl, the next closest Chevrolet driver in the IRL IndyCar Series standings. Preceding the Nashville race, IRL officials had announced the approval of the new Gen IV Chevy Indy V-8 engine. Panther Pennzoil Racing will debut the engine next week at Michigan, and the second highest Chevy team in the standings will use the new Chevy at Gateway. If Rice holds his position following the race at Michigan International Speedway, Red Bull Cheever Racing will be allowed to use the newChevy engine on Aug. 10 at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.
Eddie Cheever on the new Chevy engine: "Although we are new to the Chevy camp for 2003, the only team to outrun us is the team that has won the IRL IndyCar Series championship the past two years," said Eddie Cheever Jr., Red Bull Cheever Racing owner. "They have earned the first rights to this engine fair and square, but we are very much anticipating the new Gen IV Chevy in our car. This team has a record of winning in every year of competition in the IRL, and we intend to keep doing that. We are going to come back with a vengeance. It will be a great show."
Rice will participate in several events during the Jackson RaceWeek Festival including: The Media Day Go- Kart Event in which drivers will challenge local media representatives, The American Red Cross Soap Box Derby where Rice will throw the ceremonial green flag, and as a celebrity judge in The Second Annual Corvette show.
Dave Bishop, mechanic for the No.52 car of Rice, will head to the Michigan International Speedway, not far from his hometown of Eau Claire, MI. Dave comes from a long line of mechanics including his grandfather, father, and several brothers. After 17 years as a street mechanic, Dave's brother convinced him to get involved with racing, and he has now been with Red Bull Cheever Racing since 1998. Dave's father and mother, Larry and Brenda, will be cheering Dave and the team on at the Firestone Indy 400.
In his first full-year of the IRL IndyCar Series, Rice finished in an impressive 11th position in his rookie year of the 2003 Indianapolis 500 Race and was the highest finishing Chevrolet-powered car. In addition, Rice has brought home three ninth-place finishes, his best of the season, at Phoenix, Pikes Peak and Richmond