IRL: Kite Atlanta race report

HAMPTON, GEORGIA, Saturday, July 15, 2000 - Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing driver Jimmy Kite returned to his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway, to take his best finish of the season, a 12th in the Midas 500 Classic. The finishing position...

HAMPTON, GEORGIA, Saturday, July 15, 2000 - Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing driver Jimmy Kite returned to his home track, Atlanta Motor Speedway, to take his best finish of the season, a 12th in the Midas 500 Classic. The finishing position also matches Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing’s season-high set at the Indy Racing Northern Light Series season-opener at Walt Disney World. The Big Daddy’s BBQ car sat a strong seventh-and closing on the car in front- when, on lap-201, the engine failed going down the backstraight.

"We are really disappointed, obviously,” the Stockbridge, Georgia resident offered after stepping from the ‘Barbeque-red’ 2000 G Force. “We had such a great car. The Big Daddy's BBQ/ Founders Bank/ Blueprint G Force was hooked-up. I was having a blast. We had a little trouble with a push when I'd come up on people early on but we were able to work on that each stop. Brad [McCanless, Blueprint Racing team manager and engineer] just kept working to correct it and we really got the car hooked-up at the end. The whole Big Daddy's/Blueprint crew did a great job. I thought there for a while we'd have the monkey off our back but, in the end, we just couldn't get it done I guess. I am just thrilled with the guys and the work they have put into this. We really have a strong program here, we just need to get our luck to change.”

Kite, forced to charge from the back of the pack due to missing qualifications due to an engine failure earlier in the weekend, moved into the top-10 for the first time with just over 50 laps to run. The Blueprint Racing Engines staff will return to the Bedford Park, Illinois shop and break-down the Oldsmobile engine in hopes of determining what caused the failure.

“This was the best race we had all year,” remarked Blueprint Racing co-owner Ed Rachanski, Sr. “Jimmy did a nice job driving and we had what could have been our best finish of the Northern Light Series season. We aren’t sure what happened. We’ll get back to the shop and see. The Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint team did a great job. There was absolutely no warning that the engine would let go. Everything read just right up till the end. We showed that the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing team is a top-10 team tonight.”

The team, which currently sits 23rd in season-long points with 75, took home $24,900 for their twelfth-place finish. The Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint car was credited with 199 laps in the 208-lap event. Kite leaves Atlanta with 57 points and in 24th position in the driver’s standings.

Kite was enthusiastic about the Midas 500 Classic despite the frustration of the late-race engine failure. “It was a blast to race that closely in front of our hometown crowd. I want to thank all the Atlanta-fans for coming out and I sure hope to race in front of them again next year. This was the most fun I have had in a long time. I got a taste of the front tonight and I want to eat up there more often."

The #27 Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Founders Bank/ Blueprint Racing G Force/ Oldsmobile will next run at Kentucky Speedway on August 27th.

Big Daddy’s BBQ Racing, of Yukon, Oklahoma, is the parent company to several subsidiaries, which include a beer division-Big Daddy’s Backyard Brew- meatpacking, root beer, and the sauce and spice division. The publicly held company trades under the OTC ticker ‘BIGD.’ More information is available on the company at www.bigdaddysbbq.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite