INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 18, 2000 - The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing Special was on top of the Indianapolis 500 speed charts for most of the day today. Turning only five hot laps- out of a total of 17 laps- the ...
INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 18, 2000 - The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing Special was on top of the Indianapolis 500 speed charts for most of the day today. Turning only five hot laps- out of a total of 17 laps- the #27 driven by Stockbridge, Georgia resident Jimmy Kite turned a top time of 219.810 (40.9444 seconds around the 2.5 mile oval) shortly before 1 PM Indianapolis-time. The speed held until 4:55 PM when Juan Montoya turned a faster time during Indianapolis' famous "Happy Hour." The Blueprint Racing entry would finish the day sixth on the time charts.
"It's good to know we can pick up where we left off," remarked Kite about his first laps turned on the track since Monday. "In this windy and overcast weather, to do the lap we did was really good. We have a couple more [miles per hour] in the car. We actually put some wing back in the Founders Bank/ZMAX G Force to run those laps due to the wind. We can run quicker than that. We haven't shown our hand yet."
Brad McCanless, Blueprint team manager, and Randy Ruyle, Blueprint chief mechanic, opted to park the red, white and blue entry rather than risk the team's primary car in the windy conditions.
"There just wasn't enough to be learned out there with the wind. If we had two more cars and ten more engines in the garage like some of these teams, maybe we would have stayed out there," offered McCanless. "For us it just doesn't make any sense. We know where we are and we know we didn't show it all today. I have seen far to many months of May end for teams by playing 'ones-up-manship' in the final hour. We don't plan to let that happen to Blueprint."
Related Kite, "That quick lap was the first hot lap. I went to do a second one that was going to be a lot quicker. I came down the front straight and looked at the windsock and it was pointed due south. I got to [turn] two and it had swapped and was pointing straight east! I was bringing the car out of the turn and the wind just picked it up and moved it two feet closer to the wall. We decided right then that we didn't need that. It wasn't worth the risk."
Kite summed up the thoughts of the Blueprint Racing team by commenting on the ever-present McCanless' 'plan.' "We were top-10 again and that was our goal. Its nice being higher but that wasn't our goal. I'd like to have been out there in the last hour having someone pull me around but that doesn't do you any good. It doesn't hurt having a drafting partner, even in Indy Racing, but you won't have that on Saturday. On Saturday, teammate or not, it won't do you any good. You have to run on your own and that is when we'll find out who can do what."
The Founders Bank/ ZMAX/ Blueprint Racing Special will take to the track on Friday for the final practice prior to qualifying for the 84th Running of the Indianapolis 500. Time Trials for the pole position will begin on Saturday, May 20 with the final day, "Bubble Day" coming on Sunday.