Jimmy Kite Closes USAC Season With Top-10 CLERMONT, IND., August 8, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite (Stockbridge, Ga.) closed-out the pavement portion of the 2005 United States Auto Club (USAC) Weld Racing Silver Crown Series schedule in top-ten style ...
Jimmy Kite Closes USAC Season With Top-10
CLERMONT, IND., August 8, 2005 -- Jimmy Kite (Stockbridge, Ga.) closed-out the pavement portion of the 2005 United States Auto Club (USAC) Weld Racing Silver Crown Series schedule in top-ten style last week at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP).
Making his third appearance of the season in the No. 5 Westcon Elevator/ Westcon Racing Bloomer Engines Beast at the JD Byrider 100-lap feature, Kite added to his tally of top-15 place finishes with an eighth in the hotly contested race.
The top-ten finish fell one short of his season-high seventh earned at the season-opening Copper World Classic in what is considered one of the most competitive race series in the world.
Of the top-three pavement races of the USAC season; the Copper World Classic at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), The Milwaukee Mike and IRP, Kite was called upon by the Ron and Kevin Bloomstran-owned team for all three. In those three starts of 2005, Kite, who has raced for Westcon since 2002, proved why he was the 1997 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year. Westcon enjoyed its best season to date, earning seventh, 13th and eighth in the three races respectively.
Playing host to the lead-in events for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the .686-mile IRP oval again proved to be a major draw for fans and competitors alike with one of the largest entry lists of the season.
The 1997 Copper World Classic Silver Crown winner qualified a disappointing 22nd with a time of 21.690 seconds forcing him to race the No. 5 into the show. Kite, who is replacing the injured Paul Dana (St. Louis) in the No. 91 Ethanol-Hemelgarn Toyota in the IndyCar Series this season, did just that. The easy-going driver flexed his short track muscle to finish as runner-up in the second of two, 15 lap qualifying heats.
In the main event, Kite charged through the field making daring passing, sometimes three-wide, on the outside on the small Indiana oval to the delight of his many Midwestern fans. When the checkered flag flew, time had simply run out on Kite who was continuing to make progress through the field. With more time, or a higher starting spot, the team feels confidant that a top-five finish was in the cards.
"IRP has always been one of my favorite tracks," remarked Kite. "It really helped launch my career and it fits my style. The Westcon guys gave me a great car for the feature. I was joking to Kevin [Bloomstran] that to make stupid moves around the outside at IRP you have to have a pretty good car. We were making three-wide passes around the outside of guys all night long so I guess we had a pretty good car. The car wanted to go out there and it ran really well in the top groove so that's where we ran it. It was a lot of fun. It was fun to really race guys here at IRP. I don't think we had anything for the top-three, those guys just checked out. But, I think we definitely had a top-five car if we had qualified better. I'm just disappointed that the season is over. Only getting to run three Silver Crown races a year isn't enough."
Kite has made four NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts this season, finishing each- two on the lead lap. He has been the Raybestos Rookie of the Race once- earned for being the highest finishing rookie- and second highest finishing rookie in the remaining events. He has earned $38,885 dollars to this point in his young NASCAR career. He is currently ranked 22nd in IRL IndyCar Series points after six races in the No. 91 Ethanol-Hemelgarn Racing Ethanol/ Life Fitness Toyota-powered Dallara. He has earned a season-high of 13th, three-times in seven races with four races remaining for the Indianapolis-based team.
Kite's full attention will turn to Kentucky Speedway on Sunday, August 14th where he will attempt to break the Toyota-powered Ethanol/ Life Fitness Dallara into the top-ten for the first time this season.
To learn more about Jimmy Kite, please visit www.JimmyKite.com. For the Jimmy Kite Fan Club, log-on to www.JimmyKiteFans.com. Westcon Racing can be found on the web at www.WestconRacing.com. For more on Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, please see www.HemelgarnRacing.com.