From staff reports
Stockbridge's Jimmy Kite will again wheel the No. 5 Westcon Racing/ Westcon Elevator/ Bloomer Engines-Beast for the pavement portion of the 2004 United States Auto Club (USAC) Silver Crown Series.
This will mark the third season that Kite will race for Ron and Kevin Bloomstran in the Beast chassis. Kite joined the team in four Silver Crown races in 2002 and the full pavement schedule in ?03. Kite won his first Silver Crown race at Phoenix International Raceway's 1997 Cooper World Classic on his way to becoming that year's USAC Rookie of the Year in Silver Crown. That victory, following Kite's last second move on USAC legend Chuck Gurney after racing from the back of the pack, is one of the favorite memories for Copper World Classic fans who recall Kite's jubilant celebration jumping down the front-straightway on his way to victory lane.
"I'm really excited to be back in the Westcon Elevator Bloomer-engine powered Beast chassis in 2004," Kite said. "The Westcon Elevator team really started to get on a roll last season once we figured out a handling issue we'd been fighting all year. The results show we never won one but they don't tell the story of how close we were a few times. The 2004 Silver Crown season is going to have some great race tracks and I'm ready to get going and get back to putting wins up on the board. The Westcon guys have been working all winter to make sure that we have the car in place to win races."
Kite is looking forward to competing in the 2002 Copper World Classic.
"Every year, as more and more guys step over to NASCAR from here, the Silver Crown Series gets more attention," he said. "That makes the competition even tougher because everyone that wants to go to NASCAR or the IndyCars is racing here. That's the way it should be. There isn't any place that you feel the importance of what you're doing in a Silver Crown car more than at the Copper World. You know you beat the best when you win here. That was true when I won it in ?97 and it changed my life. This place is like Indy or Knoxville or Daytona. You want this one so bad you can taste it. And, now, I know where victory lane is."
Kite began his career racing quarter-midgets at the age of eight and worked his way up through mini-sprints, USAC midgets, sprint cars and Silver Crown cars to the Indy Racing League.
He is a five-time national champion in various open-wheel series with countless victories. He has a career total of 23 Indy Racing IndyCar Series event starts and $1,505,565 in career IRL earnings.
He has raced four times in the Indianapolis 500.
"Once again, we're thrilled to have Jimmy back in the car forthe ?04 season," said Kevin Bloomstran, team manager/co-owner. "Over the last couple years we've paid our dues, and we're ready to come out on top this year."