IRL: Jimmy Kite Atlanta Thursday practice

HAMPTON, GEORGIA, Thursday, July 13, 2000 - Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing driver Jimmy Kite pushed his 2000 G Force/ Oldsmobile around Atlanta Motor Speedway to seventh overall in today's practice. The Stockbridge, Georgia resident ran his...

HAMPTON, GEORGIA, Thursday, July 13, 2000 - Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint Racing driver Jimmy Kite pushed his 2000 G Force/ Oldsmobile around Atlanta Motor Speedway to seventh overall in today's practice. The Stockbridge, Georgia resident ran his #27 Big Daddy's BBQ/ Founders Bank/ Blueprint Racing Special to a time of 25.493 seconds (211.823 mph) on the 24-degree banked, 1.54-mile facility.

"This is going to be a fun race," enthused the 24-year old driver. "You can't get away from anyone out there. This track is so wide we'll be going two and three abreast without any trouble. Our Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint G Force was planted. We didn't have any draft and we ran seventh quick so we're pretty happy. The guys really put a great car under me and I am thrilled to be back in the 2000 G Force."

The temperatures in the Atlanta-area were well above 90-degrees even during the later afternoon and evening practice sessions. For the three-time karate black belt the conditions only played havoc during stints in pit lane for chassis changes. "It is real hot out there when you are in the pits but on the track it is OK. My head is still throbbing but that is just from sitting in pit lane talking about the setup. It will have some impact on the race but you really don't feel it until you are out of the car."

The Blueprint team worked double-time leading up to the race to paint the repaired 2000 G Force and prepare for the event. The effort was rewarded with the top-ten practice run at Kite's home track. The formerly red, white and blue racer now fields a dark-red paint scheme that has been dubbed "Barbeque Red" in honor of Big Daddy's BBQ.

Following the first practice Kite and the Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint team was very enthusiastic about the prospects for Saturday's Midas 500 Classic.

"This is going to be a sweet little car in the race," remarked Kite following the second session of the day. "I'm real happy with that last run. I think we can have a top-five qualifying run out of this Big Daddy's BBQ/ Blueprint G Force. The Big Daddy's car feels real strong out there. It was a blast running in the pack with [Greg] Ray and those guys and I know that is what the race will be like. I think that the #27 Blueprint G Force will be right up there in the front. It feels so good being able to run the 2000 car and knowing we again have the chance to run up with all the big boys... up where we know we belong."

Team manager and engineer Brad McCanless commented on the day's run, "It is a great feeling having the 2000 G Force chassis back and I think Jimmy will really be able to push the Big Daddy's BBQ car around the track tomorrow quick enough to start us upfront."

The Big Daddy's BBQ/ Founders Bank/ Blueprint Racing Special will make a run for the MBNA Pole Award at Atlanta Motor Speedway tomorrow, Friday, at 7 PM local time. Qualifying will be televised live on ESPN 2.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Kite