Buddy Rice

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Buddy Rice
BuddyPostQualify.JPG
Buddy Rice recovers from a tough qualification attempt prior to the 2007 Indianapolis 500.
Nationality United States American
Born (1976-01-31) January 31, 1976 (age 38)
Phoenix, Arizona
2014 IndyCar Series
Debut season 2002
Current team Panther Racing
Car no. 44
Former teams Cheever Racing
Rahal Letterman Racing
Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Rubicon Racing Team
Starts 97
Wins 3
Poles 5
Best finish 3rd in 2004
Previous series
2006
1998-2000, 2002
1996-1997
Champ Car World Series
Toyota Atlantic
U.S. Formula Ford 2000
Championship titles
2000 Toyota Atlantic Champion
Awards
2004
2009
Indianapolis 500 winner
24 Hours of Daytona winner

Buddy Rice (born January 31, 1976) is an American racecar driver. He is best known for winning the 2004 Indianapolis 500 while driving for Rahal Letterman Racing, and the 2009 24 Hours of Daytona for Brumos Racing.

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Born in Phoenix, Arizona, Buddy Rice is the son of a former drag racer. Rice's grandfather was from Indianapolis and passed on his interest in racing to Rice's father. Rice saw his first race when he was six years old. He started racing in go-karts when he was 11. Rice played baseball in high school in Phoenix, Arizona, and attracted the attention of college and professional scouts. However, both Rice and his father decided he would pursue a career in racing instead.[1][2]

Rice's professional career began in 1996, when he drove in one U.S. F2000 event; he finished eighth after starting second. He also drove in the Dodge Shelby Pro Series, winning from the pole at Las Vegas, Nevada.

In 1997, Rice drove in F2000 for Lynx Racing/DSTP Motorsports, finishing fourth in points and winning at Phoenix. He also won the 1997 Valvoline Team USA Scholarship, where he represented the United States in Europe’s Nations Cup.

In 1998, he won from the pole at Nazareth. He finished seventh in Toyota Atlantic points, and won the Gilles Villeneuve Memorial Award. He finished fifth in the Toyota Atlantic championship in 1999, driving for Lynx Racing.

He won the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Series championship, which gained the attention of Red Bull Cheever Racing. In 2001, he tested with Red Bull Cheever Racing in November at California.

IRL IndyCar Series[edit]

In August 2002, Rice had his first race in the IRL for Red Bull Cheever Racing at Michigan International Speedway. Hired initially to replace crash-prone Tomas Scheckter, team owner Eddie Cheever discovered that Scheckter's contract was more iron-clad than first thought. Team Cheever then ran three entries (joined by their team owner), and the best crew and parts were given to Rice.[citation needed] Rice lost the race by inches to Scheckter, but made a mark in the series. He competed in the final five races of the IRL IndyCar Series season with Red Bull Cheever Racing, scoring four top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes in five starts.

In 2003, Rice competed in 13 of 16 races for Red Bull Cheever Racing but was replaced by the more experienced Alex Barron.

In November 2003, he dabbled with a one-off drive in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the Homestead circuit before being called by Bobby Rahal to drive the #15 Argent Mortgage Honda when Kenny Bräck was injured in a late-race crash at Texas Motor Speedway in 2003.

In 2004, Rice started on the pole and won the rain-shortened Indianapolis 500, his first Indycar race victory. He finished 3rd in the IRL championship that year, earning five poles, three wins and leading 342 laps. After his Indy 500 win, his sponsors told him that they would buy him any car he wanted, he chose a 1949 Mercury Eight.

Buddy Rice driving at the Milwaukee Mile in 2007

For 2005 he and Vitor Meira were joined by Danica Patrick. However, Rice was injured in a crash at Indianapolis during practice, and was not cleared to race. In an ironic twist, Bräck then substituted for Rice.

The 2006 season began tragically for Rice at the season-opening race at Homestead-Miami Speedway when teammate Paul Dana of Rahal Letterman Racing team was killed in the final practice session. Rice and his other teammate Danica Patrick withdrew immediately from the race. Rice started his 2006 season in the following race at St. Petersburg, Florida. His Indianapolis 500 race ended early in a crash with Hélio Castroneves. After the IRL season ended, he raced in the Champ Car World Series race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez for Forsythe Racing and finished 10th.

Buddy Rice waits for a qualification attempt before the 2007 Indianapolis 500.

For 2007, Rice joined Sarah Fisher at Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. He captured 3 top-five finishes in the first half of the season and finished 9th in points, his best result since 2004. He was retained by the team for the 2008 IndyCar season, the high point of which came with a 4th place finish at Watkins Glen. He ultimately finished 16th in points.

He did not participate in the 2009 IndyCar Series season after being released from Dreyer & Reinbold Racing at the end of the 2008 season. Further, his long-standing partnership with Red Bull also expired and was not renewed.[citation needed]

He raced for Panther Racing in the 2011 Indianapolis 500 as a teammate to JR Hildebrand driving the number 44 Honda Dallara.[3]

A1 Grand Prix[edit]

Starting the 2007-08 season, Rice signed to drive for A1 Team USA in the A1 Grand Prix international racing series.[4] He drove in the first two rounds of the season with a best finish of 13th in the Zandvoort feature race before ceding the seat to Jonathan Summerton for the remainder of the season.

Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series[edit]

Rice competed in a few Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series in the early 2000s. In his debut in 2000, he finished second at Watkins Glen on a TRP Lola Nissan. In 2002 he resulted second at the 6 Hours of Watkins Glen and fourth in Homestead and Phoenix, driving a Miracle Riley & Scott Ford.

The driver competed at the 24 Hours of Daytona from 2005 to 2008, with a best result of 9th in 2006. He also raced at Utah from 2006 to 2008, collecting a 7th again in 2006.

In 2009, Rice won the 24 Hours of Daytona on a Brumos Racing Riley Porsche. He spent the second half of the season as teammmate of Antonio García in a Spirit of Daytona Coyote Porsche, where he finished 4th at Barber in his only top 10.

Buddy raced full-time for Spirit of Daytona in the 2010 Rolex Sports Car Series, joining again García. He helped Spirit of Daytona get the first podium finish for the team at the Six Hours of the Glen in 2010, collecting a third place. He also resulted 5th in three races and ended the season in 11th place.

He has even completed a race without his left shoe.[5]

His last Grand-Am race was the 2011 24 Hours of Daytona, where he finished 9th in an Action Express Racing Riley Porsche.

Personal[edit]

In his free time, Buddy Rice collects and restores classic cars. Buddy enjoys spending time with his wife Michelle. Their first child, Mina, was born on April 9, 2008.

Results[edit]

American open–wheel racing results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Atlantic Championship[edit]

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Rank Points
1998 Lynx Racing LBH
14
NAZ
1
GAT
4
MIL
11
MTL
3
CLE
3
TOR
25
TRR
20
MDO
2
ROA
26
VAN
5
LS
5
HOU 7th 108
1999 Lynx Racing LBH
4
NAZ
6
GAT
6
MIL
3
MTL
2
ROA
2
TRR
21
MDO
16
CHI
5
VAN
4
LS
2
HOU
16
5th 113
2000 DSTP Motorsports HMS1
2
HMS2
1
LBH
1
MIL
17
MTL
28
CLE
1
TOR
2
TRR
1
ROA
1
LS
3
GAT
2
HOU
3
1st 185
2002 DSTP Motorsports MTY LBH MIL LS
8
POR
11
CHI
11
TOR
6
CLE
13
TRR ROA MTL DEN 17th 31

IRL IndyCar Series[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Rank Points
2002 Red Bull Cheever Dallara Infiniti HMS PHX FON NZR INDY TXS PPIR RIR KAN NSH MIS
2
KTY
12
STL
4
CHI
9
TX2
6
22nd 140
2003 Red Bull Cheever Dallara Chevrolet HMS
16
PHX
9
MOT
13
INDY
11
TXS
14
PPIR
9
RIR
9
KAN
Ret
NSH
18
MIS
11
STL
14
KTY
11
NZR
10
CHI FON TX2 16th 229
2004 Rahal Letterman Racing G-Force Honda HMS
7
PHX
9
MOT
6
INDY
1
TXS
Ret
RIR
6
KAN
1
NSH
6
MIL
2
MIS
1
KTY
2
PPIR
Ret
NZR
4
CHI
Ret
FON
5
TX2
Ret
3rd 485
2005 Rahal Letterman Racing Panoz Honda HMS
Ret
PHX
Ret
STP
7
MOT
3
INDY
Inj
TXS
Ret
RIR
11
KAN
10
NSH
Ret
MIL
Ret
MIS
Ret
KTY
14
PPIR
11
SNM
2
CHI
13
WGL
Ret
FON
12
15th 295
2006 Rahal Letterman Racing Panoz Honda HMS
WD1
STP
Ret
MOT
5
INDY
Ret
WGL
4
SNM
15
15th 234
Dallara TXS
Ret
RIR
13
KAN
Ret
NSH
Ret
MIL
11
MIS
13
KTY
15
CHI
13
2007 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Honda HMS
10
STP
10
MOT
10
KAN
Ret
INDY
Ret
MIL
Ret
TXS
8
IOW
4
RIR
5
WGL
6
NSH
Ret
MDO
8
MIS
5
KTY
12
SNM
11
DET
Ret
CHI
9
9th 360
2008 Dreyer & Reinbold Racing Dallara Honda HMS
11
STP
15
MOT2
12
LBH2
DNP
KAN
Ret
INDY
8
MIL
10
TXS
8
IOW
Ret
RIR
Ret
WGL
4
NSH
7
MDO
20
EDM
11
KTY
10
SNM
11
DET
Ret
CHI
Ret
SRF3
10
16th 306
2011 Panther Racing Dallara Honda STP ALA LBH SAO INDY
18
TXS1 TXS2 MIL IOW TOR EDM MDO NHM SNM BAL MOT KTY
9
LVS
C
34th 42
1 Rahal-Letterman Racing withdrew both Rice and teammate Danica Patrick from competition when fellow teammate Paul Dana was killed in a race-morning practice session accident.
2 Races run on same day.
3 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.
Years Teams Races Poles Wins Podiums
(Non-win)
Top 10s
(Non-podium)
Indianapolis 500
Wins
Championships
8 4 99 5 3 5 35 1 (2004) 0

Indianapolis 500[edit]

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2003 Dallara Chevrolet 19 11 Cheever
2004 G-Force Honda 1 1 Rahal Letterman
2005 Panoz Honda Practice crash Rahal Letterman
2006 Panoz Honda 14 26 Rahal Letterman
2007 Dallara Honda 16 25 Dreyer & Reinbold
2008 Dallara Honda 17 8 Dreyer & Reinbold
2011 Dallara Honda 7 18 Panther

Champ Car[edit]

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Rank Points
2006 Forsythe Championship Racing Lola B02/00 Ford XFE LBH HOU MTY MIL POR CLE TOR EDM SJO DEN MTL ROA SRF MXC
10
23rd 11

Complete A1 Grand Prix results[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 DC Points
2007–08 USA NED
SPR

22
NED
FEA

13
CZE
SPR

16
CZE
FEA

15
MYS
SPR

MYS
FEA

ZHU
SPR

ZHU
FEA

NZL
SPR

NZL
FEA

AUS
SPR

AUS
FEA

RSA
SPR

RSA
FEA

MEX
SPR

MEX
FEA

SHA
SPR

SHA
FEA

GBR
SPR

GBR
SPR

12th 56

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Anthony Lazzaro
Toyota Atlantic Champion
2000
Succeeded by
Hoover Orsi
Preceded by
Gil de Ferran
Indianapolis 500 Winner
2004
Succeeded by
Dan Wheldon