IRL: Charlotte Jimmy Kite Interview

IRL: Charlotte Jimmy Kite Interview Charlotte, NC (July 23, 1998) - Jimmy Kite returns to IRL competition for the first time since the Indianapolis 500 in May. Kite will be driving No. 44 Royal Purple Motor Oil Dallara Infiniti prepared by ...

IRL: Charlotte Jimmy Kite Interview

Charlotte, NC (July 23, 1998) - Jimmy Kite returns to IRL competition for the first time since the Indianapolis 500 in May. Kite will be driving No. 44 Royal Purple Motor Oil Dallara Infiniti prepared by Sinden Racing Services. Motorsport News International reporter Ken Plotkin caught up with Kite in the garage area prior to the start of this weekend's event.

ARE YOU GLAD TO BE BACK?

"Very glad to be back. It's been a very long year. This is the race I led last year, and it kind of slipped away from us when I cut that tire. I'm looking forward to coming back here and having a good run here."

WITH YOUR TIME OFF SINCE INDIANAPOLIS, DO YOU THINK YOU'LL BE RUSTY?

"No, not rusty. It'll take me a couple of laps to get up to speed. Sinden's team...they put a very good car together, but we didn't get to test here, we don't know what we're going to have. They have to learn me, I have to learn them. It'll be a learning curve. We'll take it from here and see how it goes."

WILL YOUR EXPERIENCE IN LAST YEAR'S RACE HERE HELP?

"It helps the learning curve. If I were in a car I'd never been in before, with people I'd never driven for before, at a track I'd never been to before, it would have been a huge learning curve and we would have struggled. But we ran here last year, we led here last year, so it's not like I'm in the dark on that. I still have a huge learning curve, but at least it's been shortened because I am familiar with the race track."

WHAT RACING HAVE YOU BEEN DOING SINCE INDIANAPOLIS?

"We ran the ARCA race in Michigan a couple of weeks after Indy, then ran a couple of midget races. But other than that, just watching. Watching too many of these things on TV. I'm glad to be back down here in one. I was coming no matter what. This was a good race to me last year, and the people were so good down here. Even if I weren't driving I was going to be here. And it just so happens I was lucky enough to get a ride. I tell you what, I've got to thank these guys for this."

YOU'RE ALSO DOING FRIDAY'S MIDGET RACE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON DOING BOTH RACES?

"My driving style has just changed for that (the midget race). Originally I was going to go out... and I'm still going to run hard. But I've got to keep in the back of my mind that I do have an Indy car race to run the next night. So I can't go and do anything stupid and get myself hurt and not be able to run this race on Saturday night."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite