Make It Twice For Rice

Buddy Rice has signed a multiyear contract with Red Bull Cheever Racing to drive in the Indy Racing League, team owner-driver Eddie Cheever Jr. announced Nov. 25.

“We are pleased to officially sign Buddy,” 1998 Indianapolis 500 winner Cheever said. “Buddy demonstrated last season that he is professional, fast and able to lead this team into the future. It doesn’t hurt that he is one of the top American drivers, either.”

Rice, 26, from Phoenix, joined Red Bull Cheever Racing in July for the Michigan Indy 400, where he started and finished second. In his five races with the team, Rice completed every lap of every race. He finished among the top 10 in four of his five races with the team.

“I am really happy to be with Red Bull Cheever Racing; it’s an excellent team,” Rice said. “It was the next obvious step to my short run with them last season. This is the opportunity I have been waiting for. I am pumped to get the 2003 championship started.”

Rice competed in the Toyota Atlantic series from 1998-2000, winning the championship in 2000. He started racing karts at age 11, winning several national titles.

This opportunity continues Rice’s long ssociation with Red Bull, the world’s leading energy drink.

“We see Buddy as one of our success stories,” Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz said. “We first signed him as one of our athletes in 1998, and he has matured into a very good race car driver. I am pleased to see him driving for our own Indy Racing League team.”

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