Jimmy Kite Looks to Return to Copper World Victory Lane on Traditional Date STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., January 14, 2004 -- For the first time since his career-making Copper World Classic victory, Jimmy Kite will race in the historic Weld Silver Crown ...
Jimmy Kite Looks to Return to Copper World Victory Lane on Traditional Date
STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., January 14, 2004 -- For the first time since his career-making Copper World Classic victory, Jimmy Kite will race in the historic Weld Silver Crown Series event on its traditional stand-alone date of January 30th. The 100-lap United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned event will again headline the four division weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) after several seasons of running in March with the IndyCar Series. The Stockbridge, Ga. resident won the 1997 event in one of the great Silver Crown upsets of all time. Then, Kite, now a four-time Indianapolis 500 veteran, started at the back of the field and sliced his way through traffic in an inspired run. At the white flag he was in second-place and closing on USAC legend Chuck Gurney. Few felt the Silver Crown rookie would have a chance at beating the veteran but Kite made a dramatic, last turn pass to win. The post-race celebration is just as famous as Kite celebrated with the massive crowd running nearly the entire length of the front straight-away on foot. While still too young then to enjoy the victory lane champagne, the win would launch Kite's career into the IndyCar Series. The 2005 start will be his fourth Copper World green flag.
The '97 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year will return for a fourth season behind the wheel of the No. 5 Westcon Racing/ Westcon Elevator/ Bloomer Engines-Beast. Westcon Racing, of Lansing, Mich., owners Ron and Kevin Bloomstran will again field a red and yellow Beast chassis for Kite who has given the car its best runs including especially strong showings at the Copper World the last two seasons.
Jimmy Kite (about the 2005 Copper World Classic): "I'm definitely excited about getting back to the traditional date for the Copper World. Last time I drove here without the IRL I won. So, that gives me a lot of confidence. Now that this race is back to late January we're going to have all the big guns racing with us again and I am really excited about that. You never know what you'll have until you get out there but I've been working really hard in the off-season to make the most out of this."
(about the 2005 season): "Starting out the new season with Westcon looks good. We've had some good runs the last few years but we just haven't caught the breaks that we needed. Seems every time we got close, we just ran out of time. I know that Kevin and all the guys back at the shop are working hard to make sure that we can run with the top of the field. It won't be easy but it should be fun. Knowing this is the last time we'll race on pavement with the traditional Silver Crown cars is sort of disappointing. The new car looks really good though so that should be exciting for '06. We also have a lot of good news we expect to announce soon about the IndyCar side of things. I am hoping to make 2005 a really good year."
Kevin Bloomstran, team manager/ co-owner: "We're looking forward to another Copper World. Bad luck has bitten us the last few years, but we go into this race knowing we are always really fast at Phoenix. We have a past winner driving for us and Jimmy really knows how to get the most out of a car. We have a lot of hope for the new season and it all starts with the Copper World."
Kite began his career racing quarter-midgets at the age of eight and worked his way up through mini-sprints, USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars to the Indy Racing League. He is a five-time national champion in various open-wheel series with countless victories. He has a career total of 23 Indy Racing IndyCar Series event starts and $1,505,565 in career IRL earnings.
To learn more about Kite, please visit www.jimmykite.com. For the Jimmy Kite Fan Club, log-on to www.jimmykitefans.com. For more on Westcon Racing and the team's 2005 USAC Silver Crown campaign, please visit www.westconracing.com .