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Drivers: Buddy Rice, Danica Patrick, Jeff Simmons, Paul Dana
Car #: 15, 16, 17
Sponsors: Pioneer, Argent, Ethanol
Championship Finish: 15th, 9th, 16th
The season started off on a tragic note for Rahal Letterman Racing when Paul Dana was killed at Homestead-Miami Speedway while participating in the morning warm-up for the opening race of the season. The team withdrew the cars of Buddy Rice and Danica Patrick out of respect for the family and did not replace Dana in the Ethanol-sponsored car that he had brokered until Motegi when Indy Lights driver Jeff Simmons stepped in. Patrick had the best season of her young Indy Car career, finishing ninth in the points while earning eight top-10 finishes. She set season-high results by running fourth in back-to-back races at Nashville and Milwaukee and started her season by posting four consecutive top-eight finishes after sitting out Homestead. Rice showed signs of strength early, running fifth and Texas and fourth at Watkins Glen, but a mid-season chassis swap from the G-Force to the Dallara proved troublesome and Rice would fail to finish in the top 10 for the rest of the year. Simmons showed promise with six top-10 runs in his 12 starts and had the team’s best qualifying result of the year when he gridded sixth at Milwaukee. He had season-best finishes of seventh at Nashville and Infineon.