Birthdate: April 11, 1974 Residence: Gibsonville, NC
Marital Status: Married to Tammy Hometown: South Boston, VA
Children: Kelsey (3/25/94) Pets: Sassy, Yorkshire terrier
(High Point, N.C.) Chris Rice enters the 2003 season as crew chief for Scott Wimmer, and the No. 23 NASCAR Busch Series operation.
Prior to being named as Wimmers crew chief, Rice worked as a shock specialist for the No. 23 NASCAR Winston Cup team at Bill Davis Racing during the 2002 season.
While this is his first crew chief title in the upper ranks of NASCAR competition, Rice has been around auto racing almost his whole life.
My father, Allen, and my uncle built late-model stock cars when I was growing up, said Rice. I was about 10 years old when I started helping them out working on cars.
Born and raised in South Boston, Virginia, Rices racing career started in 1985 when he worked as a mechanic for Jeff Burtons late model stock team, while attending school.
We raced at South Boston Speedway and Orange County Speedway. I was 14 years old when I started working with him and besides being a mechanic, I also went over the wall and gassed the car on race day. I guess Im announcing breaking NASCARs age limit rule, but if everyone does the math, theyd figure it out anyway, Rice said jokingly.
Rice worked with Burton from 1985 through 1989 and in the final year, Burton attempted running a limited Busch schedule with Rices father as his crew chief. Burton owned the team, but the operation was run out of Allen Rices shop.
From 1990 through 1993, Rice worked with Hermie Sadler at Sadler Motorsports. For the first three years, Sadler ran part-time in the NASCAR Busch Series and Rices duties included mechanic and spotter. Rice graduated from high school in 1992 and in 1993, Sadler went racing full-time in the Busch Series. Rice continued with Sadler while attending college in 1993, and the same year Sadler won Rookie of the Year honors.
In 1994, Rice graduated college with a two and a half year Associates degree and went to work with Elliott Sadler and his late model stock team as crew chief. The duo scored their first win together at Ace Speedway in Burlington, N.C. in 1994. The following year they won the South Boston Speedway championship, scoring six consecutive wins, a record that still holds today. They also finished second in the Mid-Atlantic Region championship the same year. In 1996, they ran a limited Busch schedule together before Diamond Ridge Motorsports hired Sadler mid-season. The remainder of 1996 and 1997, Rice went to work for Speedway Engineering and also drove late model trucks for his father, A&E Racing.
Rice resumed his crew chief duties during the 1998 and 1999 seasons for two late model stock teams, working with drivers, Frank Deiny and R. D. Smith. In 2000, he was hired as a shock specialist for Buckshot Racing and when Petty Enterprises hired driver, Buckshot Jones, for the 2001 season, Rice went with him. Rice remained at Petty Enterprises through June 2002, when he left to join the Bill Davis Racing operation.