sealPurdue News

April 26, 1998

Frankfort student leads Grand Prix
from start to finish

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Kyle Smith jumped on the accelerator at the start of the Purdue Grand Prix and stayed on it to win the 41st running of the Purdue Grand Prix.

Smith, Frankfort , a junior in the Schools of Engineering, sped past the polesitter and his cousin, Dustin Smith, Frankfort , a junior in the School of Management, in the first turn and never relinquished the lead.

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Kyle Smith kept the throttle floored throughout the first half the race. He caught the back of the field within 20 laps and was putting some of the other leaders a lap down by lap 65. "I was in a groove," Smith said. "When you're in one, you don't want to let up too early or you might make a stupid mistake. "

Kyle's mistake almost came on lap 70 when he bumped the third-place kart driven by Kirk Watson, a junior in the School of Technology. The bump forced Watson, Anderson , into the barrier and off the leader board. "That was a close situation, but it's part of racing," Smith said. "The goal is to stay out of trouble and we did for the most part."

Dustin Smith, the 1996 Grand Prix champion, finished second. Joe Troyer, the 1997 winner and a senior in the School of Agriculture from Kokomo , finished third. Other top five finishers were Jeff Karau, Grand Blanc, Mich. , a junior in the Schools of Engineering, in fourth and James Weida, West Lafayette , a sophomore in the School of Technology, in fifth.

The 50-mile race took its toll on machines and drivers. Only 14 of the 33 karts starting the race were still running at the end.

The race was run today (4/26) after yesterday's rains forced a postponement.

The Purdue Grand Prix Foundation is a student-run, nonprofit organization that conducts the kart race and related events to raise money for student scholarships. This year the foundation awarded 19 scholarships totaling $9,500. The foundation receives support from Ford Motor Co. and Procter & Gamble Co.

Writer: J. Michael Willis, (765) 494-0371; e-mail,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; e-mail,

I'M SO PROUD -- Nancy Smith congratulates her son, Kyle, after he won the 41st running of the Purdue Grand Prix. Smith, Frankfort, jumped out the lead in the first turn and led the entire race. He is a junior in the Schools of Engineering. (Photo by David Umberger, Purdue News Service.)
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