IRL: Indy500: Jimmy Kite, a frustrating day

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 28, 2000 -- Jimmy Kite, of Stockbridge, Georgia, felt that today might be his day to drink the milk in victory lane at the Indianapolis 500. However, the day ended with the Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special in the...

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, MAY 28, 2000 -- Jimmy Kite, of Stockbridge, Georgia, felt that today might be his day to drink the milk in victory lane at the Indianapolis 500. However, the day ended with the Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special in the garage on lap 75 resulting in a 30th-place finish. Following the team's third pit stop, the engine "locked-up" on Kite as he left the Big Daddy's/ Blueprint pit stall. While the exact cause is yet to be determined, Blueprint Racing Engines -- led by Sonny Meyer and Frank Russo -- believe the cause is in a front-camshaft chain failure.

"We had just made the [setup] change to the car that I think would have moved the Big Daddy's BBQ G Force towards the front," lamented Kite. "I made it about a pit stall and a half before I grabbed second [gear] and the engine just locked-up on me. It is just so disappointing for this entire Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint team. The car was so good all month and I think we could have brought them back to us today. This is the second hard day for us since Big Daddy's BBQ came on board and we want to show them the results to back--up all the promise this Blueprint team is showing."

The failure ended a strong "Month of May" for the Bedford Park, Illinois-based race team. The Big Daddy's/ Blueprint Racing Special sat in the top-ten of the speed charts nearly every day the team ran in the week of practice prior to qualifications.

"We're very disappointed," offered Blueprint Racing co-owner Ed Rachanski. "Our engines ran very well before the race in all of the practices and we felt good going into the race. We're just very disappointed. We are proud to have Big Daddy's BBQ on-board the Blueprint car and we wanted a better finish for them today. We'll go back and have to regroup for the next Indy Racing Northern Light Series race at Texas and give them that finish."

Kite's final thought for the month of May was a positive look at the future. "I am definitely ready to get to the high-banks. Those tracks are my tracks! Those tracks will be Blueprint Racing tracks! We want to give Big Daddy's a good showing, and we will."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite