Blueprint Racing Ready For Bluegrass State
August 17, 2000 | 12:00 A.M. EST
Blueprint Racing has folded. The team lost its sponsor. Jimmy Kite doesn’t drive for the team anymore.
The truth is, Blueprint Racing simply missed the entry deadline as the team dealt with business issues affecting the remainder of the year and the 2001 season.
"It was a timing issue," said Blueprint co-owner Keith Sanders. "We had every intention of competing in the Belterra Resorts Indy 300 but we have been finalizing some business arrangements to prepare us for the remainder of the 2000 season and the 2001 season."
With that, fans can breathe a sigh of relief.
"When our name wasn’t on the entry list for Kentucky, I got a number of calls, the shop got a number of calls and the team members got dozens of e-mails and phone calls," said Sanders, who co-owns Blueprint with Ed Rachanski. "BlueprintRacing.com was flooded with e-mails from fans wanting to know what was up."
Blueprint also told IRNLS director of racing operations Brian Barnhart what was going on with the team. Barnhart, in turn, approved the entry for a No. 27 G Force-Aurora. Kite will be behind the wheel for the team, as he has been most of the year.
Blueprint racing had one of its best outings of the season at Atlanta on July 15. Kite started the race 25th and worked his way up to a 12th-place finish. That matched the team’s previous season-best finish, achieved Jan. 29 at Walt Disney World with driver Niclas Jonsson. In 1997 at Phoenix, Jim Guthrie gave Blueprint its first IRNLS victory. The team has not visited victory lane since.
Kite is 24th in the point standings with 57 points, 2 point behind Shigeaki Hattori.
At Kentucky, Kite has a chance to move up considerably in the standings with just 52 points separating positions 17 through 24. Sanders said the team’s recent dealings will help them in that endeavor.
"Blueprint Racing is dedicated to putting the best car and the best team out there every time we run," he said. "We were making sure we could do that for the Kentucky event and I can guarantee you that we are doing just that."
And the delay in entering the Kentucky race may have been for good reason. Sanders and the team will announce "major" sponsorship deals for the rest of the current season and 2001. Details of the two deals are expected before the Aug. 27 race at Kentucky and sometime after the season finale at Texas on Oct. 15.
Blueprint, Kite and the rest of the IRNLS teams will make their first appearance at Kentucky Speedway during practice Aug. 25. Qualifications take place Aug. 26th.