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Kite to receive honor

By Anthony Rhoads

The 2003 season has been a pretty good year so far for Stockbridge's Jimmy Kite.

Last month, Kite made it into the Indianapolis 500 and started 32nd. By the end of the race, Kite moved up to 13th place, the most positions gained at the event.

Kite, who was once a full-time driver in Indy Racing League, now competes in the USAC Silver Crown Series.

This Saturday, Kite will be honored at the Benton, Mo. dirt-oval track. Kite races there in winged sprint car events when not competing on the Silver Crown Series.

This Saturday, the Auto Tire and Parts Racepark will sponsor a ?Jimmy Kite Night at the Racepark.'

During intermission, the 27-year-old driver will be presented with a special award of recognition.

"This is one of the greatest honors in my life," Kite said. "I love racing at the racepark and for them to do this means a lot. Actually, the racepark is near where I first fell in love with racing. I'll never forget going to my first race and watching a sprint car do a wheelie all the way down the straightaway. I knew right then, I wanted to be a race car driver. I never dreamed then that one day I'd have the whole night named after me."

Kite has been racing since he was 8. He started racing quarter-midgets and moves up to mini-sprints, USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars to the IRL.

He is a five-time national champion in various leagues. He has started 23 IRL races and has more than $1.5 million in winnings from the IRL.