Jimmy Kite Does Texas Two-Step
FORT WORTH, Tex., June 7, 2005 -- A month ago, Jimmy Kite was planning to enjoy a quiet weekend at home in Stockbridge, Ga. with his family on June 9-11th. His plans changed quickly with two separate decisions by MRD Motorsports owner Dave Malcolmson (Largo, Fla.) and Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing's Ron Hemelgarn (Toledo, Oh.). Now, instead of relaxing, Kite will be attempting to be the first driver to ever compete in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event and an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event on the same weekend at the same track. The 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) will play host to this historic event as Kite wheels the No. 06 Royal Purple/ XXtreme Group LLC/ MRD Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in the Chex 400k on Friday, June 10th and the No. 91 Ethanol-Remy-Life Fitness Dallara-Toyota in the IndyCar Series' Bombardier Learjet 500k the following evening. Both races will be run at night under the lights at TMS.
In mid-May, Malcolmson decided to add the Chex 400k NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race to the limited schedule of events for the 29 year-old Kite. The Fort Worth-area track was a natural addition for the Bryan Berry-led team as its layout is similar to the Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) where Kite made his NASCAR debut in March. Kite's seat in the Ethanol IndyCar came in a different way. On May 13th, Paul Dana spun and struck the wall in practice at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Dana was injured and not able to compete in the 89th Running of the Indianapolis 500 opening the door for Kite to qualify for his fifth Indy 500. With Dana's injuries keeping him out of the Ethanol entry for the foreseeable future, Kite will pilot the blue and white machine at Texas.
Qualifying for both the Chex 400k and the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series' Bombardier Learjet 500k is scheduled for Thursday, June 9. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event will be the Friday night headliner with the green flag falling at 8:15 pm (central) before live television audience on the SPEED Channel. The open-wheel IndyCars will take the green on June 11 with TV coverage on ESPN.
about racing the double: "It'll be an awful lot of work but it should be a lot of fun too. Both the MRD and Ethanol Hemelgarn folks are excited about us trying this and the more I'm on a track, the happier I am. The schedule is pretty tight so I am going to be busy going from one garage to the other, jumping from the IndyCar to the Craftsman Truck and back in practice. I'm sure the first time I do it, it'll take me a little bit to adjust in my mind what the Ethanol car wants compared to the Royal Purple-XXtreme MRD Chevy. But, once I do that I think it will become pretty natural. The races are on two different nights and that is the biggest thing. I'll have plenty of time to rest and get some fluids back in me after the Truck race before the IndyCar race. It's pretty cool trying to do something no one ever has done before."
about running the Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing Dallara Toyota: "I'm honored that Ron [Hemelgarn] and Paul [Dana] asked me to come back and run the Ethanol-Remy-Life Fitness machine. We didn't get the finish that we wanted to, or expected to, at Indy. This will give us all a chance to make-up for that a little bit. We only had about a week at Indy to learn how to talk to one another. We're closer to anticipating what the other is thinking now and that will help. The competition here at Texas is incredible; nose-to-tail, wheel-to-wheel. I'm really looking forward to getting out there with the No. 91 and doing my best for Paul and Ron and everyone at Ethanol and Remy."
about the MRD Motorsports No. 06: "I just get along so well with the MRD guys. Everyone from Dave [Malcolmson] to Bryan [Berry] to the whole crew; we just work so well together. After about two laps in Atlanta, Bryan and I were talking like we'd worked together for years. That team has just really, really impressed me. Missing the race at Lowe's was such a huge disappointment but no one ever pointed fingers. We were flat around there and just narrowly missed it. What we learned there and at Atlanta should help us at Texas so I am looking forward to getting out there and running strong. We want a good top-15 finish for the MRD team and I think we can do it. It's definitely in the team and I'm feeling 100% more comfortable in the Truck."
To learn more about Jimmy Kite, please visit www.JimmyKite.com. For the Jimmy Kite Fan Club, log-on to www.JimmyKiteFans.com. To keep in touch with Jimmy and the MRD Motorsports Team go to www.TeamMRD.com. For more on Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, please see www.HemelgarnRacing.com.