Jimmy Kite Overcomes Heat to Take Two Milwaukee Open-Wheel Top-15 Finishes WEST ALLIS, Wisc., July 24, 2005 -- If there was ever a concern about the physical fitness of driver Jimmy Kite, the Stockbridge, Georgia-resident put them to rest this...
Jimmy Kite Overcomes Heat to Take Two Milwaukee Open-Wheel Top-15 Finishes
WEST ALLIS, Wisc., July 24, 2005 -- If there was ever a concern about the physical fitness of driver Jimmy Kite, the Stockbridge, Georgia-resident put them to rest this weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile. Despite incredibly high temperatures that haunted many drivers, Kite took the checkered flag in both today's ABC Supply Co./ AJ Foyt 225 IRL IndyCar event and Saturday's United States Auto Club (USAC) Weld Racing Silver Crown Series feature. Kite, making his sixth IndyCar Series start of the season for Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, finished the 225-lap IndyCar Series race with a 14th-place finish after starting 17th in the No. 91 Ethanol/ Life Fitness Dallara-Toyota.
Today's performance came after Kite had already spent 100-laps in competition in the No. 5 Westcon Elevators/ Westcon Racing Bloomer Engines Beast in yesterday's oppressive Wisconsin heat. He qualified the Westcon car 11th and finished 13th after a back-and-forth battle with fellow IndyCar driver AJ Foyt IV.
With temperatures closing-in on 100 degrees throughout the Milwaukee weekend, Kite was one of only two drivers to attempt the IndyCar-Silver Crown double-header here at the one-mile oval. He was the only driver to take the checkered flag in both as fell-out of today's high-speed show early. Kite continued to fight a loose race car in the IndyCar Series but again showed his driving prowess by bringing the No. 91 home three spots ahead of where he qualified. Yesterday's race was his second start of the Silver Crown Series having finished seventh at Phoenix in the season-opening Copper World Classic.
Kite's busy summer schedule continues in earnest over the next two weeks. The 1997 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year will compete at the two-mile, D-shaped Michigan International Speedway next Sunday in the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn before running two successive nights at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) on August 4th- in the No. 5 Westcon Racing Silver Crown car- and 5th in the No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Kite earned $37,100 for today's effort bringing his 2005 IndyCar earnings to $387,105. He currently sits 22nd in IndyCar Series championship with 84 points after only six starts this year.
(about the heat): "Compared to running the Truck at Texas and Kansas the heat wasn't bad at all. Once you've sat on the back straight in the Truck under a red flag in the Kansas sun, nothing else seems so bad."
(about the weekend): "It was a fun weekend. We didn't get the finish we wanted in either car. But, we showed improvement and promise in both cars. I can't really complain. We didn't tear anything up and there are a lot of people that can't say that. We've finished the last four IndyCar races and that is what we need to do. We can go on to Michigan and IRP and improve from where we finished today."
(about the Silver Crown race): "The Westcon car was every bit as good as we left it at Phoenix. I could run some pretty quick laps on my own but lost a lot when I got around anyone else. We had a great race with Little Foyt that was a lot of fun. We both wanted bragging rights at the IndyCar drivers meeting and I guess I got them. It's always fun to race the Silver Crown cars and it was really good to get back behind the wheel of the Westcon Beast."
(about the IndyCar race): "The first stint we were so loose it was scary. We just kept working on it. There was one stint where the car was downright fast. We were passing some pretty fast people in the middle of the race with the Ethanol-Hemelgarn Toyota. We keep improving and if we can keep doing that, we can show pretty well at some of the tracks coming-up. I think Kentucky [August 14th] and Pikes Peak [August 21st] should be good tracks for us. I'm excited about where we're going. I've got to thank Ron [Hemelgarn, team owner], Ethanol, Life Fitness, Toyota and Paul Dana for this. The whole package just keeps improving."