IRL: Jimmy Kite to race No. 59 Silver Crown at Nazareth

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 1997 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year Jimmy Kite will drive the ...

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga., Wednesday, April 17, 2002 - 1997 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year Jimmy Kite will drive the #59 Westcon Racing/ Westcon Elevator/ Bloomer Beast this weekend in the second round of the 2002 United State's Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown championship. Kite, 26, will replace car owner Kevin Bloomstrain behind the wheel of the Beast chassis at the tricky 1-mile Nazareth (Pa.) Speedway oval. The former Copper World Classic Silver Crown champion began the season with Aviator Racing at Phoenix International Raceway in March. However, the #50 team opted not to run the Nazareth event leaving the personable Kite looking for other opportunities for the weekend.

"I was disappointed that Aviator decided not to run Nazareth," said Kite who is entered to race in the 86th Running of the Indianapolis 500 in the #25 310 Racing entry. "However, not much after that call I got another about running for Kevin. Westcon really puts a great car on the track and I am excited about being able to race the wide-body Beast chassis this weekend. It will be tough stepping into a new team but I feel so comfortable in these cars that I think the transition will be OK."

Kite has a great tradition in the Keystone State. During his formative years, he won countless quarter-midget races on tracks throughout Pennsylvania. Despite his time racing around the state, this will be the Stockbridge, Georgia resident's first foray onto Nazareth's asphalt.

"The closest I have come to running this track is on video games. But, I know it'll be a lot harder to drive the Silver Crown car than the Indy car simulator," laughed Kite. "Everyone tells me it is a lot like Disney [Walt Disney World Speedway in Orlando] and I loved that track in the Silver Crown car. The Beast chassis and Bloomer engine should be solid combination for this track. We are really looking forward to this race being the start of our 'Month of May.' I am hoping to get some solid momentum going into Indy in a few weeks."

Kite began racing quarter-midgets at the age of eight and worked his way up through mini-sprints, USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars to the Indy Racing League. He is a five-time national champion in various open-wheel series with countless victories. He has a career total of 22 Indy Racing events and $1,232,000 in career IRL earnings. He will be attempting to make his fourth career Indianapolis 500 in May.

-jk/dc-

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Series IndyCar , USAC
Drivers Jimmy Kite