IRL: Indy 500: Team Ethanol names Jimmy Kite as driver

Jimmy Kite to Fill In For the Injured Paul Dana In the Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Entry in This Year's Indianapolis 500 INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 18, 2005) --- Jimmy Kite will be looking to make his fifth career start in the Indianapolis 500 this ...

Jimmy Kite to Fill In For the Injured Paul Dana In the Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Entry in This Year's Indianapolis 500

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 18, 2005) --- Jimmy Kite will be looking to make his fifth career start in the Indianapolis 500 this weekend when he attempts to qualify the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara/Toyota/Firestone for the 89th running of the event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Kite will drive for the injured Paul Dana, who suffered a fractured spine during an incident in practice last Friday. Kite, 29, from Stockbridge, Ga., finished 13th in the Indianapolis 500 in 2003. He also qualified for the race in 1998, 1999 and 2000. He is currently in his rookie season in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and, for the last three years, has competed in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown Series.

"Over the years, Hemelgarn Racing has built a great heritage at Indianapolis and I am honored to be asked to drive the car at Indy," Kite said. "I know Paul really wants to be in the car and I am going to do my best to make everyone associated Team Ethanol proud of our effort."

Team officials indicated Kite will be in the car when practice resumes at the Speedway on Wednesday. "I am excited to have Jimmy part of our team as the substitute driver for Paul Dana in the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing car," said Ron Hemelgarn, owner of the team.

"I have known Jimmy since the late 1990s and he has always done a great job here at Indy. He is truly a driver that deserves a break. We can't wait to get him on the track and we are looking for a great showing from the Ethanol car at this year's race."

Last Friday, Dana was practicing for last weekend's qualifying when he did a quarter spin in Turn 2 and made heavy contact with the safer-barrier wall. The St. Louis native suffered a fracture in the T-7 and T-8 vertebrae during the crash.

No surgery will be required, as doctors will allow the injury to heal on its own in a brace. "Our team's focus now is to qualify the Team Ethanol car for the race," said Dana.

"We felt we were making some progress on getting up to speed before the accident on Friday and while I wish I was in the car, I am confident Jimmy can help us get it in the race. Our ethanol group, as well as our associate sponsors Remy and Life Fitness, are extremely supportive of our racing program and this is an important event for all of us."

Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing is backed by a group of companies within the fast-growing ethanol industry, led by the major ethanol design-build firms Fagen Inc., ICM Inc., and Broin Companies. Ethanol is a high octane, high performance fuel that is clean burning, renewable and made in America.

-te-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite , Paul Dana