Jimmy Kite Looking to Pick Up at Illiana Where He Left Off at IRP SCHERERVILLE, IND., June 8, 2006 -- Jimmy Kite's career has been slowed by rain too often lately. Last month it eliminated his chance of finding a suitable ride for the...
Jimmy Kite Looking to Pick Up at Illiana Where He Left Off at IRP
SCHERERVILLE, IND., June 8, 2006 -- Jimmy Kite's career has been slowed by rain too often lately. Last month it eliminated his chance of finding a suitable ride for the Indianapolis 500 after wet weather canceled much of the on-track activities. It also shut down his top-10 potential in the Premier Racing Association (PRA) Big Car Series debut at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP). The open wheel racing standout hopes that the wet weather will stay away from Tuesday's South Shore 125 PRA Big Car Series race at Illiana Motor Speedway in Schererville, Ind. As he has done the last four seasons, Kite will pilot the No. 5 Westcon Elevator/ Westcon Racing Bloomer Engines Beast in the June 13th South Shore 125 on the paved short oval in the Chicago suburbs.
"It's always fun to race in Chicago," said Kite. "I've never been to Illiana but we've been pretty successful in the Chicago-area so I am hoping that we can continue that. If we have the car as good as we had it at IRP, we have a real good shot at a good run there in the Westcon car. I just want to get one race under my belt this year without any rain."
Kite and the Ron and Kevin Bloomstran-owned team showed well in the abbreviated schedule at IRP on May 17th. The No. 5 practiced in the top-five in preparation for the Big Car Series' inaugural event and qualified tenth. However, the rain that plagued the Indianapolis-area all month returned before the green flag waved on the feature. Kite never had the opportunity to show what he had for the competition as the race was canceled. No rain date has been scheduled for that event but the PRA will return for a second race at IRP on July 5.
This race is a bit of a homecoming for Kite. While his hometown is Stockbridge, Ga., the 1997 Copper World Classic Silver Crown Series race winner got his racing start in Illinois. It was in the suburbs of Chicago that his father, Gary, bought the then eight year-old his first quarter-midget race car and began to campaign it in the area. That first car has led Kite to five Indianapolis 500 starts, multiple NASCAR sanctioned races in the Craftsman Truck Series and the 1997 USAC Silver Crown Series Rookie of the Year title thus far.
"We were living just outside of Chicago when Dad brought home that first quarter-midget," reminisced Kite. "I've raced on a lot of quarter-midget tracks all over Illinois. I guess you could say this area is where it all started for me. So, it is cool to be back here racing with the PRA as they are getting started."