namars: IRP II: Jimmy Kite race report

Kite Motorsports Jimmy Kite fights for fourth at IRP. CLERMONT, Ind., Sunday, June 23, 2002 - Jimmy Kite returned to the North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Championship MidgetCar Series for the first time since 1999 with a fourth-place...

Kite Motorsports
Jimmy Kite fights for fourth at IRP.

CLERMONT, Ind., Sunday, June 23, 2002 - Jimmy Kite returned to the North American Auto Racing Series (NAMARS) Championship MidgetCar Series for the first time since 1999 with a fourth-place finish Saturday night here at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP). Kite qualified the Jerry Covington-owned #95 Brayton Engineering-built Ford powered Beast chassis sixth for the feature. By virtue of NAMARS' competition rules, the 26-year old Indy Racing League regular started the 30-lap event on the .686-mile-oval from the pole position. The Stockbridge, Georgia-resident fought a loose race car throughout the evening to close with a top-five in his reunion with the Tom Cherry Mufflers/ Covington Products' team.

"The car was so loose that I expected to get out and see the right-rear tire on fire," joked Kite sitting atop his racer in the sweltering central-Indiana heat immediately after the race. "The car started out loose and just got worse. We just missed the set up tonight. We thought the track would get tighter, and it did a little, but not as much as Jerry, Paul (Covington, crew chief) and I thought it would. I tried every line and every trick I know but the car was just too loose. The engine had great power but I just couldn't use it soon enough in the corner. That was a hard-fought fourth-place but I enjoyed every second of it!"

The Covington midget adds to the list of open wheel cars that the three-time Indianapolis 500-starter has raced this season. He is regularly driving the #12 Reddick Maxim chassis/ O-Donely powered winged-sprint car on dirt tracks in Missouri as well as the #59 Westcon Racing/ Westcon Elevator/ Bloomer Beast in USAC Silver Crown pavement competition. He narrowly missed making his fourth Indy 500 in May when weather kept him from making an attempt in the PDM Racing-owned #99 Dallara-Chevrolet.

"It was an awful lot of fun out there," continued Kite who won a NAMARS feature in 1997 at Salem Raceway. "I forgot just what a blast racing one of these cars can be. There were some great cars out there tonight. I really want to thank Jerry and Paul as well as Joe (Mershon, president of NAMARS) and everyone else at NAMARS and at IRP. I hope I can come back and race with these guys again real soon. We think we know what we'll need, set up-wise, when we come back."

Kite began racing quarter-midgets at the age of eight and worked his way up through mini-sprints, 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.

-km-

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Series Midget
Drivers Jimmy Kite