INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 21, 2000 - In his usual style of making the Indianapolis 500 in remarkable fashion, Jimmy Kite of Stockbridge, Georgia placed the ...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 21, 2000 - In his usual style of making the Indianapolis 500 in remarkable fashion, Jimmy Kite of Stockbridge, Georgia placed the #27 Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special in the field 25th for the 84th running of the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Turning a quick lap of 221.806 mph on his second of the four qualifying runs, Kite averaged 220.718 to put himself in on the inside of the ninth row.
In his first qualification attempt yesterday, Pole Day, Kite made contact with the first turn wall after spinning due to cold tires. The accident destroyed Blueprint’s primary car, a 2000 G Force chassis with a Blueprint prepared Oldsmobile engine. With the help of Chip Ganassi and Ganassi Racing, Blueprint acquired another 2000 G Force chassis to carry the Big Daddy’s BBQ Racing name into the field. Working throughout the night, the Brad McCanless (Blueprint Racing team manager) and Randy Ruyle, (Blueprint chief mechanic) were able to switch the Ganassi race set-up over to the Big Daddy’s/ Blueprint qualification trim.
“After we tore up our car I knew we didn’t have much chance with our back-up car because it was a ’99. The guys told me that one of the cars they had a line on was Ganassi’s and that made my day. I just felt so bad for Big Daddy’s BBQ Racing and all the Blueprint guys. We probably could have sat on the front row with that car.” Kite continued, “It took a lot of work to get the Ganassi car ready to carry the Big Daddy’s BBQ name. The guys were here pretty late last night. This Blueprint Racing crew is a class act. These guys are the best and I thank Keith [Sanders, Blueprint Racing co-owner] and Ed [Rachanski, Blueprint Racing co-owner] for making it all happen. We’ll work on this thing a little bit more and we’ll make it all Blueprint for the race.”
The day wasn’t without its drama. During the day’s practice the #27 Big Daddy’s/ Blueprint entry came to a stop on the backstraight. Following a tow-in the crew determined that the new car had a different pickup point than the G Force they were accustomed to. Comfortable with the fact that it was a pick-up issue and not an electronic gremlin, McCanless rolled the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special into the technical inspection line, the first step in making a qualification run.
The Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special will roll out on Thursday, May 25, for the traditional Carburetion Day practice.
“We could have gone out and run some more this afternoon but the guys earned the rest of their day off after last night,” said McCanless. “We have a good feel for the car and we know our race setup is going to be good. We’ll be ready for race day.”
“We don’t do anything easy at this place,” sighed Kite. “I am going to just breath the rest of the day because I held my breath since the accident yesterday. I know we’ll have a great car for race day. The Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special will be ready to go to the front in the race. This race means everything to me and I can’t explain what it means to be in it. Big Daddy’s BBQ and Blueprint Racing made it happen.”