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Buddy Rice to Start 2004 Season for Team Rahal; Argent Mortgage Returns As Co-Primary Sponsor
 Date: January 10, 2004 11:07
 Submitted by:  Tuan
 Source: Honda PR
 Credibility Rating: N/A


Torrance, Calif. 01/08/2004 -- Team Rahal has announced that Buddy Rice will assume driving duties for its Honda-powered IndyCar, in place the recovering Kenny Brack, when the 2004 Indy Racing League season starts next month at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Brack was injured in the final 2003 IndyCar Series race in Texas on Oct. 12, and is rehabilitating at his home in Upper Arlington, Ohio. He is scheduled to return to the driver's seat later in 2004.

Rice, 28, is the 2000 Atlantic Series champion. He has 18 IRL IndyCar Series career starts and finished second in his debut in 2002 at Michigan International Speedway. Rice will begin testing for Team Rahal on January 28 in Homestead.

"I can hardly wait," Rice said. "It's a good opportunity for me. I'm pumped. It's a well-organized team and a huge benefit for myself to run with a properly run team."

Team Rahal also has announced the expansion of its partnership with Argent Mortgage Company LLC as a co-primary sponsor, with Pioneer Electronics, for its 2004 IndyCar Series program. Argent was the primary sponsor on Team Rahal's second Indianapolis 500 entry in 2003, driven by veteran Jimmy Vasser.

"We are very pleased to expand our racing program for 2004," said Wayne Lee, president of Argent. "We are looking forward to another sensational racing season in 2004."

"The expansion of Argent's partnership with Team Rahal is extremely exciting," said Team Rahal co-owner Bobby Rahal. "The alliance we enjoyed in 2003 with Argent and our Atlantic and Indy 500 programs proved to be a tremendous asset for both of us. Argent introduced itself to a new audience through its marketing and media programs last year. With two racing programs in 2004, we feel our partnership will support Argent's continued growth."

Argent Mortgage Company LLC is a national mortgage lender that specializes in nonprime lending. As a wholesale mortgage lender, Argent works with independent mortgage brokers and bankers throughout the U.S. Argent is a subsidiary of Ameriquest Capital Corp., a leading financial services holding company whose subsidiaries have 20 years of experience in the nonprime industry.

The 2004 IRL IndyCar Series season begins with the Indy 300 at 2 p.m. (EST) on Feb. 29, 2004, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN and the IMS Radio Network.
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