Kite skyrocketed to notoriety in 1997 with a last-turn pass of veteran Chuck Gurney in the prestigious Copper World Classic, USAC Silver Crown race held at Phoenix International Raceway. The spectacular victory led directly to the young-Georgian acquiring a seat in the fledgling Indy Racing League (IRL). To-date, Kite has 34 IndyCar Series starts and has the distinction of being the only driver to run a NASCAR-sanctioned event (Camping World Truck Series) and an IndyCar Series race on the same weekend at the same track - first at Texas Motor Speedway then at Kansas Speedway in 2005.
Bell is a former, professional motocross and freestyle motocross (FMX) rider. He raced motocross from 1993-'97 before switching to freestyle for four more years (1998-2002), winning the 2001 Canadian FMX Championship. Before retiring, he ranked Top-10 in the world for three of four seasons and holds nine Guinness World Records. He rose to pop-culture fame as a regular on both Jackass and Nitro Circus.
This is the second season in which Lux Performance has been asked to oversee the Celebrity/Guest Driver Program for Dodge. Lux Performance Group, owned by Cindi and Fred Lux of Aloha, OR, has been a Dodge "works" program since 2005 and was instrumental in the successful creation and execution of the Dodge Viper Cup Celebrity effort in 2010. The Fred Lux-managed crew focuses on the maintenance of the two V10-powered, front-engine machines during the three-day events while Cindi Lux uses her internationally recognized skills as a driving instructor and as a Dodge and Mopar factory driver (2005-2008) to coach and spot for the guest drivers.
Kite, who will be making only his second career road course start this weekend, is the second IndyCar driver to step into America's supercar for this competition. Last year, Richie Hearn (Las Vegas) managed a win in his debut. Bell is the first entertainer/motocross rider to be entered to race one of the not-street-legal Vipers. All winnings from the guest driver's efforts will be donated to the charity of their choice or towards Breast Cancer Awareness.
Neither Bell nor Kite has raced a Viper or competed on the 2.25-mile, 14-turn, New Jersey Motorsport Park road course. A promoter's test day will be held Friday for the full Dodge Viper Cup series with practice, qualifying and races to be held on Saturday and Sunday. Tape-delayed broadcasts of every Dodge Viper Cup event will air on VERSUS. Please check local listings for broadcast times. News and features from the race weekends can be found at both www.CindiLux.com and www.ViperHeadquarters.com.
About Dodge Viper Cup celebrity entries at New Jersey: "What is the difference between an Indy car or a USAC Sprint car with a Viper ACR-X? Well, Jimmy Kite will be the man to tell us! And having Andy Bell on board from Nitro Circus TV fame will be awesome. I have seen Andy drive in a few smaller races and this guy can wheel! These two drivers are very diverse in background but will be hilarious to have on our team. They both have great personalities and really just love to drive. That's what this deal is all about; you get totally different drivers, you give them each a fire-breathing Viper, send them out to have fun and just sit back and enjoy the show! New Jersey is going to be an absolute blast to watch!"
About racing the Dodge Viper Cup for charity: "I'm really fortunate that Dodge and Lux Performance Group invited me up to New Jersey to do this. The Viper has always been one of my dream cars and I am giddy I get to race one all weekend. It will be a new challenge for me and I am really looking forward to it. I'm also excited about meeting Andy Bell. I'm a big fan of Nitro Circus so it is going to be a lot of fun to hangout with Andy as my teammate and get to race against him. I really want to thank everyone at Dodge Motorsports, the Dodge Viper Cup and Cindi Lux for bringing me in this weekend. Adding to it that we're doing it for charity is great too. That's icing on the cake! It's going to be a lot of fun and I can't wait to get out there and race!"