Jimmy Kite Looks To Lowe's To Finish What He Started CONCORD, NC., May 17, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite led his first laps in an IndyCar as a rookie at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Lowe's) in 1997. On that hand the Charlotte-area track holds a special...
Jimmy Kite Looks To Lowe's To Finish What He Started
CONCORD, NC., May 17, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite led his first laps in an IndyCar as a rookie at Lowe's Motor Speedway (Lowe's) in 1997. On that hand the Charlotte-area track holds a special place in the heart of the Stockbridge, Georgia-resident. On the other hand, a punctured tire ended that race, his second career IndyCar start, after he held the top-spot for 11 laps. That left Kite with some business he hopes to finish on May 20th when he return to Lowe's for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event. The Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Click It or Ticket will be Kite's third NASCAR Craftsman Truck weekend in the Dave Malcolmson-owned No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado.
Kite, a veteran of 23 IndyCar starts, has caught the eye of the NASCAR world with two top-20 performances in only two attempts in the NASCAR Craftsman Trucks. However, the four-time Indianapolis 500 veteran is well aware of the challenges that face him here at Lowe's. The track is 'home' for most of the top teams and the 200-mile race falls on a weekend when there is no NASCAR NEXTEL Cup points-paying race scheduled. That open date leaves several drivers, including many that Kite has raced against in USAC Silver Crown and Midgets as well as IndyCars, entering the race at Lowe's.
"It's my first two-day event so I have a night to sleep on it," explained Kite. "But with as many trucks and the quality of equipment that'll be there, there is going to be a lot of us going for those six spots. We'll definitely have to be on our game. I have learned an awful lot in my first two races with the MRD guys but I still have a lot to learn too. I'm really looking forward to racing at Lowe's. Dave and Bryan [Berry, crew chief] have given me a great truck both weekends we've run and everyone is excited about running in their backyard. The whole team will be up for this. It's going to be an exciting weekend for us."
Kite returned to Lowe's last month for the first time since '98 to test the No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevy shortly after the track had been smoothed. Despite having made his NASCAR Craftsman Truck debut at the similarly designed Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) in March-- where he finished 19th-- what he learned then just reiterated what he already knew from driving the open-wheel cars... the two tracks share very little in common from behind the wheel.
"That doesn't give me any advantages," reflected Kite on having run AMS. "Sure, more stuff I learned at Atlanta will carry over to Lowe's than what I learned at Gateway will. But there are still a lot of differences between the two. Lowe's is definitely unique. You can't copy it. You approach it differently than Atlanta or anywhere else."
In all, Kite has two IndyCar Series starts at Lowe's Motor Speedway (1997 and '98) and one USAC Midget race there (on the front-straightaway in '98). Practice for the Quaker Steak & Lube 200 presented by Click It or Ticket begins on Thursday, April 18 with one hour sessions at 1 pm (ET) and 2:30 pm. Qualifying for Friday's race will take place at 7 pm. No practice will be held on Friday with the race scheduled to start at 8:45 pm, or immediately following qualifying for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup All-Star event.
To learn more about Jimmy Kite, please visit www.JimmyKite.com. For the Jimmy Kite Fan Club, log-on to www.JimmyKiteFans.com. To keep in touch with Jimmy and the MRD Motorsports Team go to www.TeamMRD.com.