From Jimmy Kite Motorsports
INDIANAPOLIS, IND., May 15, 2012 – Veteran oval racer Jimmy Kite will open the 2012 United States Auto Club (USAC) Traxxas Silver Crown Championship with back-to-back races in Indianapolis, Ind., the heart of the motorsports community. Kite, who has competed in five Indianapolis 500s, debuts the fully rebuilt No. 25 Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Beast-Chevrolet on May 19 at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (LORI). He will then travel down the street from the paved short track to the dirt mile of the Indiana State Fairgrounds on May 25. The two events mark a significant occasion for Kite, who lives in Indianapolis but holds strong-ties to his Stockbridge, Ga. home. 2012 will be the first-time since 1997 that he will challenge for the full nine-race Silver Crown championship on both pavement and dirt.
Jimmy Kite testing the Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Silver Crown pavement car. Image by Gary Blinebury
Jimmy Kite testing the No.25 Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Silver Crown pavement car at LORI. Image by Gary Blinebury
Kite, made his hard-charging reputation in USAC in 1997 earning a now-famous Copper World Classic victory in his first-ever start in that prestigious event. He went on to win the USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year award that season as well as make his Indy car debut. This will be the second season that Kite will drive for Eddie Sachs, Jr. The pairing ran a portion of the pavement Series last year with a best finish of 12th at the Milwaukee Mile. However, their late start to prepare for the 2011 season limited the team’s potential. With plans to better that performance, Kite oversaw a complete off-season rebuild of the Beast chassis making substantial updates to the No. 25. A pre-season test – something Kite has never had the opportunity to do in USAC before – at LORI proved the program is on the right path.
LORI has always been a strong track for Kite. He debuted at the Clermont, Ind. facility – then known as Indianapolis Raceway Park – with a fourth-place finish in a 1994 midget race. He scored a second-place in his Silver Crown debut on the 2/3rd-mile oval in 1997. Because of its scheduling, the night of Indianapolis 500 pole day qualifying, Kite has had limited chances to race the Silver Crown event at the track. Since the conclusion of last season, Kite and Sachs have kept the popular season opening event clearly as their target to introduce the operation’s new level of commitment.
Despite keeping his hand in USAC’s pinnacle series throughout his Indy car and NASCAR career, Kite focused principally on the pavement races. The May 25 start on the one-mile car and horse track at the Indiana State Fairgrounds will be Kite’s first Silver Crown start on dirt since 1997 at Terre Haute’s Action Track. Again, an off-season effort by Kite and the team – based at Indy Line Stripe, a business Kite co-owns with fellow racer Geoff Dodge and Curt Shuttleworth – have totally revamped a dirt car Sachs had in his stable. The 100-lap “Hoosier Hundred” has long been an Indy tradition calling the best dirt track drivers of the country to compete the Friday prior to the Indianapolis 500. For Kite, the track is a perfect blend of speed and precision to match his skills.
USAC’s Silver Crown Series remains one of the last bastions of the traditional form of auto racing the sport grew-up with. The balance of paved short tracks and speedways with the dirt bullrings and mile-long horse racing facilities demand a driver and team strongly suited to the challenge. Kite, who remains the only man in motorsports history to compete in both a top-tier NASCAR-sanctioned and Indy car-sanctioned event at the same track on the same weekend, is eagerly looking forward to his chance to compete on the tracks in the style of his racing heroes from the ’50s – ’80s.
Jimmy Kite: “I’m really looking forward to both of these races. It’s Indy and it’s May! We’ve put a lot of time and effort into these ESR cars over the winter. I can’t wait to see what we have in front of all of our racing friends.”
Jimmy Kite can be found on Facebook at Jimmy Kite
Find us on Facebook
For more on the USAC Hall of Fame Classic, please visit: www.LucasOilRaceway.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.