IRL: Rice, Patrick statements on Paul Dana

PAUL DANA'S RLR TEAMMATES RICE, PATRICK GIVE THEIR STATEMENTS TUESDAY AT HOMESTEAD Paul Dana Memorial Services, Memorial Fund Announced Tuesday For Fallen RLR Driver HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 28, 2006) -- IRL IndyCar® Series drivers Buddy...

PAUL DANA'S RLR TEAMMATES RICE, PATRICK GIVE THEIR STATEMENTS TUESDAY AT HOMESTEAD

Paul Dana Memorial Services, Memorial Fund Announced Tuesday For Fallen RLR Driver

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (March 28, 2006) -- IRL IndyCar® Series drivers Buddy Rice and Danica Patrick were available today to the media for the first time since their Rahal Letterman Racing teammate Paul Dana was fatally injured last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway. They talked to a group of media members at the track's press center while testing on the road course.

In addition, the memorial service for the 30-year-old Dana and a memorial fund was announced.

A memorial service - "celebrating the life of Paul Dana" -- for the racing community will be held this Thursday (March 30) at 5:15 p.m. in Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, Florida (400 1st St. S., inside the race course of the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg). IRL "hard card" holders will be admitted to the service.

The Dana family has asked that all donations be sent to the Paul Dana Memorial Fund For Renewable Energy, c/o National Bank of Indianapolis, 107 N. Pennsylvania St., Suite 100, Indianapolis, IN, 46204.

Meanwhile, the Rahal Letterman Racing team has withdrawn the No. 17 Team Ethanol Honda Panoz Firestone entry for this weekend's Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg out of respect of Dana and his family. Last Sunday, the team withdrew the No. 15 (Rice) and 16 (Patrick) Argent Honda cars from the season-opening race at Homestead.

Team co-owner Bobby Rahal is out of the country this week, watching his son Graham race in the A1GP event in China. Rahal said his organization hopes to name a replacement driver for the No. 17 car in the near future. Both Rice and Patrick will compete in this weekend's St. Petersburg street event.

Buddy Rice Quote on Tuesday: "It is never easy when someone is lost in the racing community, especially when it is someone on your team. My thoughts are with the Dana family. Everybody reacts to situations differently. It is very difficult for a close-knit group like the IndyCar Series. I got to know Paul through our testing and he was a good guy. He did a great job in developing the Team Ethanol program. He was learning about our cars and team. Our team will work through this loss and move on. We still have a job to do and we will race this weekend in St. Petersburg. The Indy Racing League is a leader in safety and they continue to learn with each accident. I'm sure we will learn from Paul's crash on Sunday.

Danica Patrick Quote on Tuesday: "On Sunday, I saw Ed (Carpenter) spin in Turn 2 and I drove my car to the inside and gassed it to get by. When I came by again on the yellow flag, I knew it (the crash) didn't look good. I didn't know it was Paul's car until the team told me. There are a lot of elements that came into my feelings about Paul's death. I feel for his family. We as drivers do this (racing) and our family have to watch. I felt bad for my family after Paul's accident because they see what can happen out there. I believe Paul is in a better place. But this is a tragedy. We have the greatest safety equipment in the world and still this sport can be dangerous. We know that. We reflected on that with my family on Sunday. I have a great support group with my family. We had a meeting with our Rahal Letterman Racing team yesterday to talk about Paul and his accident. It is sad when tragedy has to bring people close together. But I think we gained something positive from that meeting. Now we must move on and go to St. Petersburg this weekend."

-rlr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Buddy Rice , Paul Dana , Danica Patrick