Smooth and smart on pavement and dirt, the popular “Flying School Teacher” won the 1973 USAC National Midget championship and the 1977 and 1981 USAC Silver Crown titles. One of Rice’s first major wins was in the 1970 Hut Hundred. In 1985, he won the Sprint Car and Silver Crown portions of the 4 Crown Nationals at Eldora Speedway. He repeated as Silver Crown winner at Eldora in 1987. Later Rice had nine career starts in IndyCar racing, including two Indianapolis 500s. After an 11th place finish in an older car in the 1978 race, he and inductee Rick Mears were co-named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. After his driving days were over, Rice joined ESPN as an analyst for its IRL events and Saturday Night Thunder program. “I’d rank him right up there with the guys who I thought were tough, (Tom) Bigelow, (Larry) Dickson and (Gary) Bettenhausen,” four-time USAC champ Pancho Carter told Sprint Car & Midget Magazine. Rice was inducted into the National Midget Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 1993.
Frank Costin & Keith Duckworth (Cosworth)