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Kite overcomes heat to take two top-15 finishes

From staff reports

WEST ALLIS, Wisc. - If there was ever a concern about the physical fitness of driver Jimmy Kite, the Stockbridge resident put them to rest this weekend at the historic Milwaukee Mile.

Despite incredibly high temperatures that haunted many drivers, Kite took the checkered flag in both today's ABC Supply Co./ AJ Foyt 225 IRL IndyCar event and Saturday's United States Auto Club (USAC) Weld Racing Silver Crown Series feature.

Kite, making his sixth IndyCar Series start of the season for Ethanol Hemelgarn Racing, finished the 225-lap IndyCar Series race with a 14th-place finish after starting 17th in the No. 91 Ethanol/ Life Fitness Dallara-Toyota.

Today's performance came after Kite had already spent 100-laps in competition in the No. 5 Westcon Elevators/ Westcon Racing Bloomer Engines Beast in yesterday's oppressive Wisconsin heat. He qualified the Westcon car 11th and finished 13th after a back-and-forth battle with fellow IndyCar driver AJ Foyt IV.

With temperatures closing-in on 100 degrees throughout the Milwaukee weekend, Kite was one of only two drivers to attempt the IndyCar-Silver Crown double-header here at the one-mile oval. He was the only driver to take the checkered flag in both as fell-out of today's high-speed show early.

Kite continued to fight a loose race car in the IndyCar Series but again showed his driving prowess by bringing the No. 91 home three spots ahead of where he qualified. Yesterday's race was his second start of the Silver Crown Series having finished seventh at Phoenix in the season-opening Copper World Classic. Kite's busy summer schedule continues in earnest over the next two weeks.

The 1997 USAC Silver Crown Rookie of the Year will compete at the two-mile, D-shaped Michigan International Speedway next Sunday in the No. 91 Ethanol Hemelgarn before running two successive nights at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) on August 4th- in the No. 5 Westcon Racing Silver Crown car- and 5th in the No. 06 MRD Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. Kite earned $37,100 for today's effort bringing his 2005 IndyCar earnings to $387,105. He currently sits 22nd in IndyCar Series championship with 84 points after only six starts this year.

"Compared to running the Truck at Texas and Kansas the heat wasn't bad at all. Once you've sat on the back straight in the Truck under a red flag in the Kansas sun, nothing else seems so bad," he said.