CANTON, Ohio, June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rahal Letterman Racing's Buddy Rice, sponsored in part by The Timken Company, powered the #15 Argent Mortgage/Pioneer Honda/G-Force to victory in the rain shortened 88th running of the Indianapolis 500. Rice, driving in just his fourth race for Rahal Letterman Racing, dominated the Memorial Day classic by leading 91 of the 180 laps.
"Winning the Indy 500 is the pinnacle of my career and I owe this in part to the great support I get from The Timken Company," said Rice following his trip to victory lane. "It hasn't really hit me yet. As a driver you dream about what it would be like to win Indianapolis, but you can't really comprehend the accomplishment until you see the checkered flag."
Timken has been a partner with Team Rahal since 1998, serving as an associate and technical sponsor for the Hilliard, Ohio-based team. The company uses motorsports to prove new technologies on the racetrack. Timken(R) bearings are used in numerous racing applications, including wheels, axles, gearboxes and differentials. Timken(R) steel and precision components can be found in crankshafts, camshafts, gears, shock absorbers, brakes and engines.
"There is no question in my mind that the best driver and car won on Sunday," said Bobby Rahal, the 1986 Indy 500 champion. "I am so happy for everyone associated with our program. It has been a difficult and somewhat tumultuous year for our team, but I feel this vindicates our decision to competitively focus our efforts on one series."
The victory was the first at Indianapolis for Rahal Letterman Racing. The best previous finish for a Rahal Letterman car at Indy was a pair of third place finishes for Bobby Rahal in 1994 and 1995. Rahal now owns an Indy 500 victory as a driver (1986) and as an owner (2004).
Team Rahal, which operates under Rahal Letterman Racing in the IRL IndyCar Series, is now in its second decade as one of the leading open-wheel racing teams in North America. Based in Hilliard, Ohio, the team is co-owned by three-time CART champion and 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal and CBS LATE SHOW host David Letterman. Currently the team campaigns cars in the Indy Racing League's IndyCar Series and the Toyota Atlantic Championship.
The Timken Company (NYSE: TKR, www.timken.com) is a leading global manufacturer of highly engineered bearings and alloy steels and a provider of related products and services with operations in 29 countries. The company recorded 2003 sales of $3.8 billion and employed approximately 26,000 at year-end.
For Additional Information: Jason H. Saragian, Public Relations Manager, (330) 471-3514, or visit http://www.timken.com/media
SOURCE The Timken Company