CHICAGO MEDIA MEMBERS LEARN A TRICK OR TWO FROM BUDDY RICE AND BOBBY RAHAL

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It?s not often an employee gets to upstage the boss, so Rahal Letterman Racing driver Buddy Rice smiled at the prospect of racing team co-owner Bobby Rahal at Chicago Indoor Racing in Buffalo Grove, Ill.

One Indianapolis 500 winner pitted against another at the karting facility, with media members filling out the field as roadblocks during the event to promote the Delphi Indy 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Sept. 12.

Click here for photos of Buddy Rice and Bobby Rahal karting.

Coming off his fourth-place finish at Nazareth Speedway in the IRL?s 100th event, Rice quickly turned some fast laps in one of the 200cc Honda Bowman Race Karts. His 15.65-second lap was the top time of the day.

?I am always karting at home in Phoenix,? said Rice, a three-time IRL IndyCar? Series winner this season. ?The weather is so nice year round there. ?? (Karting) is not only a good way for the media to see what it?s like to be an IndyCar Series driver, but this is also how a lot of the kids are coming up. So, they are getting to see what a lot of future racers are using to train and prepare to come up to the (IndyCar Series).?

Rahal used a driver?s favorite race-day tactic of sandbagging the competition when he claimed he would compete only in the first race. But the 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion couldn?t resist the call of the competition. He remained in the kart and placed third among all drivers.

?It?s a gas to be out there and Chicago Indoor Racing is a very nice place,? Rahal said with a smile after finishing his first race. ?To come to a very well-run and high-quality facility is a lot of fun. It?s just fun pounding around the race track and you know the racing blood is still in me so it?s definitely a good time.?

Rahal Letterman Racing also has found success on the IndyCar Series circuit this season. Rice is third in the driver standings (76 points behind leader Tony Kanaan) with three races remaining.

?Being able to drive for a top team and be in a position to win races has been huge and that is an advantage of coming to a big team and having that opportunity,? Rice told the media. Rahal, a three-time open-wheel series champion who is now focusing on his team and ensuring a successful future, is pleased with the results turned in by Rice in the No. 15 Rahal Letterman Racing Panoz G Force/Honda/Firestone.

?If it all stopped today, I would say that we had a hell of a year,? Rahal said. ?For Buddy, we?re glad that all the things we thought he could do he is doing and then some. He has done a great job for us right from the start. We won everything there was to win at Indy this year and that never happens. Then we go out and take five poles and three wins so far. And we probably could have had a couple more.

?We have run up front all day in every race and the last three races we have had very good chances to win. I don?t know if we can win the championship because all (Kannan) has to do is keep finishing. I would like us to end up with six wins.?

The next opportunity to add to the victory column will come at Chicagoland Speedway.

?I?m looking forward to coming to Chicagoland Speedway because it?s a high-banked 1.5-mile track and that?s good for us and good for the fans,? Rice said. ?The (Delphi Indy 300) is so exciting because of the two-, three-, and four-wide racing the whole time. I look forward to these kinds of races. They are always fun races and there is always a lot going on.?

The Delphi Indy 300 is scheduled to be broadcast live on ABC starting at 1:30 pm EDT. Although the race is sold-out, tickets for IRL practice day on Friday, September 10 are still available for $15, children 12 and under are free.

Click here for more informat

ion about the September 10-12 ARCA/IRL weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

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