From Dark Horse Auto Sports
TOLEDO, OH., October 12, 2011 – Jimmy Kite will close his limited 2011 United States Auto Club (USAC) Traxxas Silver Crown Championship season this week at Toledo (OH) Speedway. It is rare foran IndyCar,NASCAR and USAC veteran to find an established track that he has never raced on before. However, on October 15, the longtime Stockbridge, GA-resident now living in Indianapolis will have his first look at Toledo’s half-mile paved oval as he straps into the No. 25 Capital Electric/Eddie Sachs Racing Beast-Chevrolet for the Rollie Beale 150.
Jimmy Kite in the No.25 Eddie Sachs Racing Silver Crown Beast-Chevy.
Image by John Mahoney, USAC
2011 has marked Kite’s return to the series he first electrified in 1997 with a victory in the prestigious Copper World Classic and a runner-up run at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (LORI) – then known as Indianapolis Raceway Park. The success he found catapulted him into an IndyCar career which, to-date, has included five Indianapolis 500 starts. While he was able to dabble in USAC after making the move to IndyCars and NASCAR, Kite had not been in one of the front-engined, open wheel machines in several seasons before joining with team owner Eddie Sachs, Jr. earlier this summer. With backing from Capital Electric and ULine, Kite entered Milwaukee and Indianapolis before coming to Ohio. Saturday’s 5:15 p.m. (ET) start will mark the final race on the 2011 USAC Silver Crown schedule. Because he has only entered three of the nine races, Kite is not in the championship chase but is eager to move back into victory lane at the pinnacle of USAC racing.
Kite, the 1997 Silver Crown Rookie of the Year, is a veteran of 34 IndyCar races and multiple NASCAR and ARCA starts. He has raced on hundreds of tracks around the country since starting his career at the age of eight in quarter-midgets. However, his fortunes had never brought him to Toledo before this week. While some imagine every oval as the same, it is far from the truth. The Toledo-area track, owned by ARCA, is semi-banked and the shortest of all the tracks Kite has raced on this season. Compared to the Milwaukee Mile or LORI’s 2/3rd oval, Toledo promises to be yet another unique challenge to Kite as a driver and lead mechanic.
Since the Milwaukee debut of the car, Kite has not only been turning the wheel, he has been turning the wrenches on the white No. 25. While always mechanically skillful, it stands as the first-time the son of a former IndyCar mechanic Gary Kite has led the mechanical work in a major series. In fact, between the Milwaukee and Indianapolis rounds, Kite and a small, tight-knit group of friends including racer Geoff Dodge, completely rebuilt the car in the Indy Line Stripe shop. Since the LORI event, the team has fine-tuned the Beast chassis for Toledo. Following the season-finale, the car will return to the shop for a complete winter overhaul and preparation for a planned 2012 season.
Gates will open at Toledo Speedway at 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Thursday morning. The first-on-track action for Kite is scheduled for 11:25 with a second practice set for 1:10 p.m. Qualifying will get underway at 2:55 with the 150-lap feature set to take the green flag at 5:15 p.m.
About preparing for a new track: “We prepare the same as all the other tracks: with an open mind. Hopefully, we can get out there early in practice and follow somebody who’s fast and has been there before to help speed up the learning curve.”
About the challenge of running the limited schedule: “It’s tough. Any time you go up against guys who are doing it every week it’s tough. The harder part is not having been able to test either this year. We don’t have a notebook of past setups to go off of at these tracks. Thank goodness for some really good friends to help get us in the ballpark.”
About the challenge of driving and crewing the car: “I have some really good friends helping us out on the No. 25 Capital Electric car. That makes it easier to handle both sides. My business partner in Indy Line Stripe – and also one of my best friends – Geoff Dodge is there at the shop, was at LORI and will be at Toledo also. Geoff is a heck of a racer and it helps having somebody there to bounce ideas off of that knows his stuff.”
About his season and prospects for 2012: “We’ll see how Toledo goes before I rate the year. All I can say is we are growing as a team each and every time we go out on the track. As long as that keeps happening each time we’ll be just fine for next year. I think Eddie (Sachs, Jr.) is enjoying being back as much as I am. There is a real upside for 2012 and I am looking forward to closing out the season strong this weekend and carrying that momentum into the future.”
Jimmy Kite can be found on FaceBook at Jimmy Kite
Find us on Facebook
For more on the Rollie Beale 150, please visit: www.ARCARacing.com.
To learn more about the USAC Traxxas Silver Crown Championship and follow live video, timing and scoring of the sessions please see: www.usacracing.com/pitpass.