IRL: Indy500: Jimmy Kite ready for pole run

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 19, 2000 - Jimmy Kite, of Stockbridge, Georgia, and Blueprint Racing, based in Bedford Park, Illinois, continued to leave their mark on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing...

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 19, 2000 - Jimmy Kite, of Stockbridge, Georgia, and Blueprint Racing, based in Bedford Park, Illinois, continued to leave their mark on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway today. The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing Special turned a lap of 222.700 mph (40.4132) in 26 laps of practice for the 84th running of the Indianapolis 500. The time kept them firmly in the top-ten for the fifth day this week, eventually landing sixth overall for the day. The time was also the month's sixth fastest time.

"We just put together three laps of 222 [mph] right there," commented Kite immediately following his run. "If I hadn't been such a wuss on the first lap it would have been four in a row but I lifted a little. I think that should put us in the top-two rows."

Following two days of rain and waiting to complete the installation of a new aerodynamic body kit from G Force, the Blueprint Team put up a time that remained quick for four hours in yesterday's practice. Today's effort was a simulated qualification run that the team felt comfortable with. Following the quick laps, team management opted to park the car until morning practice tomorrow. At that point the team will finalize the set-up for Time Trials. Qualifications for the Indianapolis 500 will begin at 11 AM Indianapolis time.

Chief mechanic Randy Ruyle compared today's speeds with what can be expected on Pole Day. "Tomorrow is a whole different story. It can be the shortest day or the longest day of the year. The trick is to stay calm. If you can stay calm and not get overly concerned with what everyone else is doing you'll be fine."

"I'm very pleased with the results from the Blueprint guys," reflected team co-owner Keith Sanders. "Everyone is working so hard and it is nice to see it paying off. I have a very good feeling about tomorrow. I think we all do. I don't want to make any predictions but I feel, based on our performance this week, some very exciting things will happen for Blueprint Racing."

Kite, attempting to qualify for his third Indianapolis 500, looks forward to the competition for the pole position. "I think it will take a 222 mph average to win the pole. We can do that. I feel good that we can go out and run in Time Trials tomorrow what we ran in practice today. If anyone else can put together four laps like that tomorrow, then they deserve to be in front of us."

Blueprint Racing Enterprise's team manager Brad McCanless drew 23rd spot for qualifying tomorrow. Conditions are expected to be in the 60's and overcast most of the day.

The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing Special will run in the final 30-minute practice session prior to Time Trials for the 84th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Time Trials for the pole position will begin on Saturday, May 20 with the final day, "Bubble Day" coming on Sunday. Television for qualifications both days will appear on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 throughout the day.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite