NEWTON, Iowa – Three stories above the Iowa Speedway bullring, Buddy Rice surveys the action during practice for the Iowa Corn 300.
Rice, the 2004 Indianapolis 500 Mile Race winner, has been a spotter for James Davison and JR Hildebrand at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, communicating via radio directly to the driver.
At The Milwaukee Mile and Iowa Speedway, Rice has been called upon to help guide CFH Racing co-owner/driver Ed Carpenter in the No. 20 Fuzzy’s Vodka Chevrolet through traffic on the short ovals.
A race car driver helping a driver on the track. Rice, who has competed on both ovals, sees benefits of such an arrangement.
“I can see what’s coming and what’s going on because I’ve been there and I know what they’re feeling,” Rice said. “When the driver is getting excited in the seat, I can tell them if everybody else is having the same problem or what line seems to work better or what people are falling off nearing the pit window. I can give them information that I know I would like to hear at the moment to help them out.
“A lot of people knew I was at Indy to help out Hildebrand, but they didn’t know it was me on the radio because when I drive my voice is totally different, which is really mellow. Same way when I’m spotting, which is how you have to be. Guys were like, ‘Who’s the guy with Hildebrand saying you have to move your line and change this and this is what it looks like?’
“Ed’s team is great and they have a synergy. They’ll tell him times and he knows where he’s at. I can complement that. Like at Milwaukee, they told him the leader (Sebastien Bourdais) was coming. I said, ‘He’s by himself, on his own island, so don’t worry about it. Second to where we are is all on the same straightaway.’ We were all lined up going nowhere except for Bourdais and he’s coming, so don’t panic. Usually if the leader’s coming, everybody else is coming.
“I know what they’re saying from the stand so I can look for ways to help.”
Carpenter finished 10th at Milwaukee and sixth at Iowa Speedway.
Hinchcliffe recounts almost perfect day in '13
James Hinchcliffe, who continues to progress in his recovery from a left upper thigh and pelvic injury sustained May 18 in a practice crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, attended the race in support of the Schmidt Peterson Motorsports team.
Ryan Briscoe is driving the No. 5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda for the balance of the season. Hinchcliffe also attended the July 12 race at Milwaukee.
He won the 2013 race at Iowa Speedway while with Andretti Autosport, leading 226 of the 250 laps.
“It was one of those days as a driver you pray for but rarely get,” he said.
Firestone Farm Tires, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations that houses the manufacturing of agricultural tires, is based in Des Moines. It also builds, markets and sells forestry and construction tires at the facility. … Austin Cindric, 16, who competed in USF2000 in 2014 and is the son of Team Penske president Tim Cindric, qualified and finished fourth in his ARCA debut at Iowa Speedway.