IRL: Texas: Blueprint Racing/ Jimmy Kite notes and quotes

Car Name: ...

Car Name:       #27 Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special
Chassis:        2000 G Force
Engine:         Oldsmobile Aurora (90 degree crank) built by Blueprint Racing Engines
Tires:          Firestone Firehawk Racing radials
Entrant:        Blueprint Racing Enterprises, LLC
Owners:         Ed Rachanski and Keith Sanders

* The name of the #27 Blueprint Racing entry is now officially the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special.

* Saturday, May 20th, Blueprint Racing announced that Big Daddy’s BBQ Racing had joined the team for four and a half years. The sponsorship began immediately.

* Big Daddy’s BBQ Racing is the parent company to several subsidiaries, which include a beer division-Big Daddy’s Backyard Brew- meatpacking, root beer, and the sauce and spice division. More information is available on the company at

* In an odd twist of events, Jimmy Vasser recently purchased the Simpson helmet that Jimmy Kite wore until the day before the auction. The helmet, painted by Beam, was at auction to benefit the Sam Schmidt Foundation.

* Blueprint Racing has won $1,207,656 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway since 1996.

* The 30th-place finish in the 84th Indianapolis 500 earned the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special $164,000.

* The $164,000 prize brought Jimmy Kite’s career earnings above the $1 million mark. Since his 1997 Pikes Peak debut Kite has earned a total of $1,157,550.

* By completing 74 laps of the Indianapolis 500, Kite broke a second barrier at Indianapolis. He broke 2,000 laps completed in his Northern Light Series’ career. He currently has a career total of 2,024 laps completed.

* Jimmy Kite is just now getting over a serious head cold that sidelined the Stockbridge, Georgia resident for most of the week following the Indianapolis 500. “I don’t know what it is, but I would like to go into Texas without spending all this time in bed because I am sick! Last year this time I was just getting over an appendicitis, now I am just starting to be able to breathe again from this cold. I don’t know what it is about Texas but I am glad that we don’t race the week after Indy like the Indy cars use to. I’d never make the event!”

Following the 1999 Indianapolis 500, Kite was placed into Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for an emergency appendectomy. Eager to race again, he asked the surgeon to do whatever he had to do to allow Kite back into his Indy Racing car the next week. With the surgery a success, Kite was released from the hospital the day following the appendectomy to finish recovering at home. He would qualify 22nd for the 1999 Casino Magic 500 and finished 25th with an oil leak.

* Blueprint Racing has direct ties with the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. Right-rear tire changer Gill Kaszuba lives within 30 minutes of the Texas Motor Speedway in Burleson, Texas with his wife Christy. Gill is looking forward to competing in front of his friends and neighbors.

* Kite continued an Indianapolis tradition that goes back to his first Indianapolis 500. Every year since 1998, Kite has worn a hand-painted tie to the awards banquet. The tie is designed and painted by Marian McCanless, wife of Brad McCanless, a successful Indianapolis’ realtor and artist that has done much work in Indy car racing. 2000 was no exception as Marian’s design was worn by Kite to accept his prize for Indianapolis.

* Mark Taliaferro, Blueprint Racing tire manager, is quickly becoming known as the ‘Sucker Man.’ Taliaferro, who until know was best known for his trademark cigar, made a deal with driver Jimmy Kite during at Indianapolis to give Kite a Tootsie Roll “Tootsie Pop” every time he was “a good boy and had a good session.” On Friday, May 19, Kite had a “two- sucker day” by having two very good sessions that placed him on the top of the speed charts for much of the day. Pole Day, May 20, was a “no sucker” day as the car spun in morning practice and made contact with the first-turn wall in Kite’s qualification attempt. Kite again earned a sucker on Sunday, May 21, by placing the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing Special firmly in the field. Despite the frustrating 30th-place finish -following the loss of an engine- at Indianapolis, “Big Daddy”, as Taliaferro is called by the crew, handed Kite a sucker for his effort.

* Blueprint Racing unveiled its own web site,, recently.

* Blueprint Racing is one of only three Indy Racing Northern Light Series teams currently building their own engines. Blueprint Racing Engines is led by Ed Rachanski, Sonny Meyer and Frank Russo. Legendary drag racer and engine designer John Farkonas designs many of the internal engine components for Blueprint Racing’s Oldsmobile Indy V8 Aurora engines.


Jimmy Kite, driver About running on the season’s first 1.5 mile, high-banked oval;

“I’m excited about running Texas and about the high-bank season in general. Brad [McCanless, Blueprint Racing team manager and engineer] and I seem to shine on these 1.5 mile, high-banked tracks. He just seems to have a really good setup for them that works for me. We have had some bad luck the last couple of races with the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint car but I think these tracks will turn that around. I look at the schedule and all I see are the high-banks and the one-mile oval that we ran great on last year, so I am really excited. Personally, I consider the ‘high-bank’ season, Jimmy Kite season!”

About making changes to the team’s strategy going into the Casino Magic 500;

“We aren’t going to do anything differently with the car or the setup. We have a great race car in the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing G Force. The first three races we have had a strong car and just some bad luck. We are working at changing that starting at Texas and going on for the rest of the Indy Racing Northern Lights Series.”

About mental and physical preparations going into the 1.5 mile tracks;

“In a lot of ways Indy is the best track that we could have as a lead-in to these tracks like Texas, Atlanta and Kentucky. At Indy you really have to free the race car up to be fast and it is the same here at Texas. To be fast you have to have a car that is really free in the turns but is also good in traffic because you always seem to be in traffic on the 1.5 mile, high-banks. Funny thing about these tracks is a loose condition still feels good. With all the wing to slow the cars down and the banking, your car can be pushing or real loose and it still doesn’t scare you.”

About running back-to-back races at Texas Motor Speedway and Pikes Peak International Raceway;

“As long as you don’t have any trouble, car-wise, it is no big deal. The Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing crew knows how to prepare the cars and we will be in good shape for each event. If you do have trouble then it might be hard to turn things around in time. Still, Texas is a good track for us and I had my best one-mile run last year in the Radisson 200. If we had to have back-to-back events, I think these will be the best for me to have so close.”

About the challenge of running under the lights at Texas Motor Speedway;

“Coming back to the night races is kinda like a going home-thing for me. This is what I grew-up doing. I love racing at night. I am still trying to get use to these day races! Bruton Smith and all of his tracks have done a great job putting in this lighting system. You can see everything just like in the daytime. There are no dark spots or anything. The lighting is perfect. I am really looking forward to running the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint car here in Texas and again in Atlanta later this season!”

Keith Sanders, co-owner About his feelings going into Texas;

“We’ve got to get back to finishing the race. If we can get the engine woes knocked-out we’ll be real contenders. We’re going to Texas with the right machine with the G Force, the right crew with the Big Daddy’s BBQ/ Blueprint Racing team and the right driver in Jimmy Kite. We have all the pieces, we just need to get our engines sorted out, and we will. We are looking forward to the rest of this season with Big Daddy’s BBQ.”

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Jimmy Kite , Sam Schmidt