NEWTON, Iowa, June 19, 2012 – Speed and quickness are not always the same thing. The 230 mile-per-hour laps Jimmy Kite has turned at the 2.5-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway were fast. The sub-22 second laps he will turn at the 7/8th-mile Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa in the United States Auto Club (USAC) Traxxas Silver Crown Championship on June 22 are quick. Kite, who lives in Indianapolis but considers Stockbridge, Ga. his home, will lap the paved short track at just over 21-seconds/144 mph. Only high-horsepower formula racecars, like Indy cars, will run a similar pace on the popular oval and Kite relishes the chance to be on the banked short track at speed. The five-time Indianapolis 500-starter will wheel the No. 25 Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Beast-Chevrolet in Friday’s Casey’s General Store USAC Challenge Presented By Messerschmitt Ice & Kix 101.1.
Jimmy Kite testing the Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Silver Crown pavement car. Image by Gary Blinebury
Jimmy Kite racing the No.25 Indy Line Stripe/Eddie Sachs Racing Silver Crown pavement car at LORI in May. Image by Gary Blinebury
Iowa Speedway has hosted Silver Crown since 2006 and the track has become one of the quickest on the schedule. Those dizzying lap times will ensure a dramatic battle throughout the field in what is one of the most competitive forms of racing in the world. For Kite, the 1997 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year, the 100-lap feature offers a tremendous opportunity for redemption after frustrating ends to the first two races of the season. Engine-related woes halted progress through the field at both races. However, the engine has undergone substantial scrutiny since the Hoosier-state events and Kite’s expectations for the Iowa race are high. Having reached the heights of motorsports from the humble beginnings as Quarter-Midget racer, the Copper World Classic Champion loves the intense racing that is a by-product of a paved “bullring” on a Midwest Friday night. Despite his time racing in IndyCars, NASCAR, USAC and other open wheel series, Kite has never raced at the Iowa Speedway.
Kite and a close group of friends are prepping and racing the two Eddie Sachs Racing-owned Beast chassis. They opened the year in May with back-to-back Indianapolis-area race weekends. At the May 19 pavement race at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis (LORI), Kite parked the white No. 25 when high engine temperatures risked the team’s Chevrolet engine. The result was 15th in the final order. The following weekend, May 25, Kite started his first Silver Crown dirt race since 1997 in the black and red Indy Line Stripe machine. An ignition issue forced the early retirement of the No. 25 resulting in a 16th-place finish.
Both the team and Kite are challenging for the full pavement and dirt Traxxas Silver Crown Championship this year. It is the first time Kite has attempted to run the nine-race mix of ovals since 1997. He is currently ranked 14th in driver points while Eddie Sachs Racing holds the same position in entrant points.
Indy Line Stripe is a pavement maintenance leader in Indiana and surrounding states. The Indianapolis-based company is owned by Kite, fellow racer Geoff Dodge and Curt Shuttleworth. For more, visit: www.IndyLineStripe.com .
Practice for the Casey’s General Store USAC Challenge begins at 11:40 a.m. (CT) with qualifying at 4:15 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to fall on the Casey’s General Store USAC Challenge at 8:00 p.m.
On racing at Iowa Speedway for the first time: “I am really excited about racing for the first time at Iowa Speedway. Ever since they opened the track I have wanted to race there. I love fast racetracks and the lap times at Iowa are just so quick that I can’t wait to get the Eddie Sachs Racing Chevy Beast on track and see what it can do. This is the type of track that just fits me. Also, I understand the facility is just awesome. It isn’t too often you get a short track that is this new and has been built to be the best in the world. I hear the fans are incredible. When you watch races from Iowa on TV the stands are always filled. Iowa fans are smart race fans and that is just great to be a part of. I can’t wait to get there!”
On the quick lap times of Iowa Speedway: “Whenever you are lapping a track in about 20 seconds it gets your attention. I love it. It reminds me of my quarter-midget days or when we raced the Indy cars at Dover. You just have to be so focused. One hiccup and it can cost you not just on that lap but for the five laps after it. When you add in the kind of wheel-to-wheel competition we have in the Silver Crown series it is like playing a video game in fast forward!”
On the season so far: “The season hasn’t started off as well as Eddie and I had hoped but we’ve shown a lot of promise. The engine issues have been frustrating. At both tracks we had the car handling pretty well but first the overheating and then the ignition just killed us. We’re a small team. We have to think about a lot of things that maybe some of the bigger teams don’t have to. Eddie is investing a lot. We’re all spending a ton of time in the shop. We have some really dedicated crew guys that are coming in to help us day-after-day. We all believe in what we’re doing. Individually, we have a world of knowledge and experience but right now we are still a young team. We still have things to learn and we’re doing that every day. We’re getting there. It’ll happen. I just don’t know when but it will happen for us.”
Jimmy Kite can be found on Facebook at Jimmy Kite and on Twitter at @JimmyKite
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For more on the Casey’s General Store USAC Challenge, please visit: www.IowaSpeedway.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.