IRL: Michigan: Jimmy Kite preview

Jimmy Kite Looks To Turn Corner at Michigan Speedway BROOKLYN, Mich., July 25, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite has never run an open wheel racecar on the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) here in the Irish Hill. However, the Stockbridge, ...

Jimmy Kite Looks To Turn Corner at Michigan Speedway

BROOKLYN, Mich., July 25, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite has never run an open wheel racecar on the Michigan International Speedway (MIS) here in the Irish Hill. However, the Stockbridge, Georgia-resident is looking at the two-mile, D-shaped oval as the potential turning-point in his 2005 IndyCar Series season. Driving the No. 91 Ethanol/ Life Fitness Toyota-powered Dallara since the Indianapolis 500 in May, Kite and the Ethanol-Hemelgarn Racing team have begun to make progress towards the front of the grid in the most recent events. Like three performance lines converging in the Michigan countryside, Kite sees his own learning curve, his communication with Ethanol-Hemelgarn Racing team and the performance of the Ethanol entry all beginning to hit their stride with Sunday's Firestone Indy 400-mile race. With a streak of races that has seen the 29 year-old take the checkered flag in the last four of the six IndyCar races he has started, Michigan may be where all the pieces fall together to move Kite to the front of the field. The fast Michigan facility is a natural track for Kite who grew-up racing on the ultra-fast quarter-midget ovals of the Midwest and Southeast.

Kite, who made his second of two ARCA stock-car appearances at Michigan in 1998, opened his 2005 IndyCar season at the Indianapolis 500 qualifying and finishing 32nd in his fifth Indy start. He went on to finish 22nd after a mechanical failure resulted in an early race accident at Texas Motor Speedway. Since, Kite has taken the checkered flag in every race he has run in each race series he has entered. It was at Texas that Kite made history as the first driver to ever compete in both an IndyCar-sanctioned event and a NASCAR-sanctioned event- the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entry of MRD Motorsports- on the same weekend at the same racetrack. He followed that at Kansas Speedway by taking the checkered flag in both the blue and white Ethanol-sponsored entry in the IndyCar event, finishing 19th, and the red and yellow MRD entry, finishing 22nd. Kansas began Kite's move forward. He went on to finish 13th at Nashville Superspeedway- matching his highest finishing position of the year- and 14th last weekend at Milwaukee.

Kite currently sits 22nd in the IndyCar Series driver point standings after six races in the No. 91 Ethanol-Hemelgarn entry, compared to the ten races of most of his competitors that have run all season. He has earned 84 points and $387,105 since joining the team as a replacement for the injured Paul Dana (St. Louis).

The Firestone Indy 400 can be seen live on ABC Sports at 3 PM (EDT), Sunday, July 31st.

Jimmy Kite: "I grew-up watching the great races at Michigan so I am really looking forward to racing there. The track has so much history. It has always put on some incredible IndyCar shows. It should be a lot of fun to be a part of that. I've never driven an IndyCar at Michigan but I had my second ARCA start there back in '98. So, I have some experience there which gives us some confidence. I'll have a lot to learn, though. But, still, with how the Ethanol-Life Fitness Toyota has been improving, I think Michigan could be our best race so far. The Ethanol-Hemelgarn crew has really been working hard to move-up in the standings and that is starting to pay-off. The results might not be showing it as much as we hoped but the car is a lot better now than we've had it all season. Michigan might be the place that brings it all together. This could be the place we show the improvement we've been making each race."

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. Westcon Racing can be found at www.WestconRacing.com.

-jkm-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite , Paul Dana