Car Name: ...
Car Name: #27 Founders Bank/ Blueprint Racing Special
Chassis: 2000 G Force
Engine: Oldsmobile IRL V8 Aurora built by Blueprint Racing Engines
Tires: Firestone Firehawk Racing radials
Entrant: Blueprint Racing Enterprises, LLC
Owners: Ed Rachanski and Keith Sanders
Driver: Jimmy Kite
Jimmy Kite, driver
About returning to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway:
"I just look forward to going back to Indy. It's the biggest race in the world and it is the most important race I can win in my life. I want to make my third '500' the one that changes my luck there. The first two weren't very good for me. I am starting to enjoy this place and I think that will show this month.
The last two years I was freaked out at this time. In '98 it was my rookie year and I was going to be running Indianapolis for the first time. Last year I didn't even have a ride at this time! But, this year, I have no worries. Now I know I can win one of these and I know that Blueprint is a strong enough team to win any race we enter. All we need is some help from the 'Big Guy' upstairs and we can be in winner's circle at the end of the day."
About running Indianapolis with Blueprint Racing:
"I honestly feel that Blueprint Racing has given me my best chance of any Northern Light Series' team to win the Indianapolis '500. We have had our problems in the first two events this year but we know what caused those. The first 70-laps at Vegas showed how good this Blueprint team is. Now, we just need to show it for 200 laps at Indy."
About the emotions surrounding Indianapolis:
"Sitting in the car, listening to 'Back Home Again in Indiana' and the 'Star Spangled Banner' with 100 million people watching on TV all over the world- just like I did- it is hard to control your emotions. I get butterflies before every race I run but at Indy there is a whole swarm in there. This race means so much! You think of the guys that have won this and how great they were, and the guys that haven't won this and how great some of them were. It is just something to be included in the list of guys that have run this race! I am looking forward to moving into the group of drivers that have won it!"
About his feelings coming into Indianapolis with the 2000 G Force chassis:
"I hope our car is set-up as good at Indy as it was at Vegas. That car was awesome. Ever since I first sat in the 2000 G Force it has been great! The car has been perfect."
About the start of the Indianapolis 500:
"The pace lap you come around wondering how you will ever fit three cars wide into turn-one but, somehow, every year we do it. That track gets awfully narrow at 200 miles-per-hour. The first lap you come around and, if you are in the back, all you smell is methanol. It just surrounds you. You also have the dirt and debris hitting your helmet. It sounds like someone is just shooting rocks at you. POP, pop, pop, POP!!! The car that had so much downforce in qualifying and practice suddenly has none because none of the air gets to you way back there. The car just skates-push, loose, push, loose. You fight it all the way into turn-one and you just pray that it finds some air there to get you through the turn. It always has for me and I know that is because someone up there is watching out for me. After things spread out a little you finally get to know what the car is actually doing but, up till then, you are just trying to hold on. There is no other ride like it. They couldn't simulate it in the best Hollywood movie!"
Ed Rachanski, co-owner
About the "Open Test" run at Indianapolis to prepare for the "500":
"I was very impressed with the performance of the crew when we tested at Indy. Jimmy's driving was superb. Everything went very, very well there in April. 217+ [miles per hour] out of the box, in those conditions, with the cold and the wind, really showed how good this Blueprint team is.
About running in the Indianapolis 500:
"This is our golden trophy of auto racing and our expectations are very high. I have a feeling that we will do well at Indy. Everyone, the whole team is very excited about Indianapolis. Everyone has the same feeling I do that this should be a very good month. There is nothing in the world like the Indy 500."
Keith Sanders, co-owner
About his feelings of being a first-time car owner at Indianapolis:
"I am very excited to be a team owner here. Every time I pull into "The Speedway" I get goose pimples. This is a dream come true for me!"
About Blueprint Racing's prospects for Indianapolis:
"We are going to be cautiously optimistic. We think we have the machine and Ed feels that we have assembled an Indy-winning team. We feel we can start in the top-10 and, we think, we have what it takes to get across the finish line first. It is a very exciting time for us."
About preparations for the Indianapolis 500:
"We have the guys preparing this car to have Jimmy's confidence high. Sonny [Meyer, Blueprint Racing engine and transmission manager] is building an engine that will stand-up to the rigors of the Indy 500. Brad feels very strongly that we have the right setup for Indianapolis and Randy and the guys have done a wonderful job with this new 2000 G Force chassis."
Brad McCanless, team manager and engineer
About returning to Indianapolis on the anniversary of his first "500" win:
"We led a lot at Indy after that, particularly the next couple of years. However, lately, we haven't been up front. I think we can do that this year. Overall, though, I am a lot less worried about putting up a lot of lead laps than I am about leading the last one. This Blueprint team can lead that last one! We need to. I have two boys now and only one [winning team member] ring. So, I need to get a second one for my younger son."
About his goals for the "Month of May":
"It's tough with this competition. You have to have everything just right. We want to qualify in the top-ten. Last couple of races, we have had our problems but we have had great race cars. We know we have a great car from the test here in April. We have high-hopes for the race. It is a long race and anything can happen. Really, I think this is Jimmy's year. I just feel that it is time for he and Blueprint."
About his race strategy:
"This is an easy race to win. As long as you stay on the lead-lap and don't make any mistakes, that is. I know this will be a good car for Jimmy's style. We know that from the test. We'll play it conservative and be there at the end. If we can do that we have the team, the car and the driver."
About the effects of "luck" on an Indianapolis race:
"If you believe in luck, we're getting all the bad luck out of the way early, before Indy. We couldn't have much worse luck than we did at Phoenix and at Vegas. Two electrical glitches, both times with cars going to the front, that is bad luck, I suppose. There wasn't much we could do about those. We can make our own good luck, can't we, though? I guess that is what we will do!"