Jimmy Kite Looks to Site of Debut to Keep IndyCar Momentum Strong FOUNTAIN, Col., August 17, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite (Stockbridge, Ga.) is fresh off his highest IRL IndyCar Series finish of the season and couldn't have asked for a better place...
Jimmy Kite Looks to Site of Debut to Keep IndyCar Momentum Strong
FOUNTAIN, Col., August 17, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite (Stockbridge, Ga.) is fresh off his highest IRL IndyCar Series finish of the season and couldn't have asked for a better place to keep that momentum going than Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR). The one-mile PPIR oval was the site of Kite's debut in IndyCar competition in June, 1997 and has, like Kentucky Speedway of last weekend's 10th-place run, been a favorite for the driver of the No. 91 Ethanol/ Life Fitness Toyota-powered Dallara. Sunday's Indy 225 marks the ninth start of the season for Kite since joining Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing at Indianapolis in May.
Kite started ninth in his IndyCar premiere in '97. Though he would finish 20th, he took an immediate liking to IndyCar style short track racing. He followed his debut by leading 11 laps at Lowe's Motor Speedway one month later in his second Indy Racing League-sanctioned event. He has raced at Pikes Peak four times in IndyCars with a track high finish of eighth in 1999. In his last IndyCar appearance here, in 2000, Kite was fast in one of only two year-old chassis before a faulty fuel pump sidelined him.
"As good of a run as we had at Kentucky, I'm really looking forward to getting to Pikes Peak," commented Kite. "Pikes Peak was where I made my first IndyCar start so, from a sentimental side, it is an important race to me. But, I've always raced well there too. It's like Kentucky, the track just clicked right away with me. Kentucky was the first track since Texas that I had been to in an IndyCar before. We also got to test there. That really helped us. We didn't get to test at Pikes Peak but I have a lot of laps there. Our short track program has been our strong suit until we got the mile and a half tracks figured out last weekend. So that is pretty encouraging too. We've been really good on short tracks all year. Now that we have a good short track and intermediate track setup, I am really feeling good about the rest of the season. Toyota has been doing a lot of R&D all year and I think that is starting to pay off now for the Ethanol Hemelgarn team. It's been a long, tough year and Kentucky was the highlight so far. But, hopefully, it won't be THE highlight at the end of the year."
The Indy 225 can be seen live on ABC Sports at 3:30 PM (EDT), Sunday, August 21.
To learn more about Jimmy Kite, please visit www.JimmyKite.com. For the Jimmy Kite Fan Club, log-on to www.JimmyKiteFans.com. For more on Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, please see www.HemelgarnRacing.com.