Andretti. Gordon. Stewart. Busch. Rice.
No, 2004 Indianapolis 500 champion Buddy Rice – who remains active as a driver coach and spotter for JDC Motorsports in the Mazda Road to Indy, and a spotter for CFH Racing in the Verizon IndyCar Series this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway – isn’t making a comeback to driving this week.
But Doug Rice, veteran pit reporter for the Performance Racing Network, is set to add his name to the four drivers who’ve pulled the Memorial Day “double” of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600.
Rice will be in a firesuit, but not behind the wheel, for at least part of his Sunday.
He’ll cover the Indy 500 from pit road for the IMS Radio Network, then co-anchor the Coca-Cola 600 for tPRN from Charlotte Motor Speedway that same evening.
With logistical support from Shell Oil Company, Rice will be able to attempt what no other broadcaster in the history of the two major events has done.
“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time,” Rice said in a release. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work the Indy 500 and the Coca-Cola 600 on the same day, to be truthful, it’s been a dream of mine since Andretti pulled off the first double in 1994.”
Rice isn’t underestimating the challenge, as rather than roughly eight or nine hours of driving, he’ll be doing close to eight or nine hours of talking throughout the day.
“I’ve always been in awe of the drivers who were able to survive the impact of the double,” Rice said. “And even though this will be different kind of double, it will still be a challenge. I’m betting on energy and adrenaline to keep me going through the day in Indy and during the night for the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte.”
“We are very happy to help Doug and our friends at PRN make this happen,” added Heidi Massey-Bong, Sr. Business Advisor – NASCAR Sponsorship, Shell Oil Company. “This effort with Doug along with other activities taking place over the Memorial Day race weekend are going to help us showcase some exciting news for Shell.”