November 13, 1921|
East Point, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||October 17, 1965
Concord, North Carolina, U.S.
|Cause of death||Injuries from racing accident|
|Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career|
|9 races run over 5 years|
|Best finish||25th - 1951 NASCAR Grand National Series season|
|First race||1950 untitled race (Daytona Beach Road Course)|
|Last race||1965 National 400 (Charlotte Motor Speedway)|
|First win||1950 untitled race (Daytona Beach Road Course)|
Harold Kite (November 13, 1921 - October 17, 1965) was a NASCAR Grand National driver from East Point, Georgia, United States of America. In his brief Grand National Series career, Kite competed in nine events to earn one win and two top-ten finishes.
Kite's debut came in 1950. Starting third on the Daytona Beach Road Course, he quickly found his way to the lead. From there, Kite led 38 of the 48 laps, holding off Red Byron by fifty-three seconds for the victory. He recorded two midpack finishes to close out the year: a 38th in the inaugural event at Darlington and a 12th place in a small field at North Wilkesboro Speedway.
Kite's next two races would take place during the 1951 season, when he finished a career-high 25th in points. He started 38th in the history-breaking eighty-two car field at the Southern 500, completed most of the laps and kept in shouting distance of the leaders to finish 6th. Kite did not keep early-season momentum on his side, finishing his other start that year with a last (29th) place showing at Columbia Speedway.
Kite tacked on two more starts a few years later, making his return during the 1955 season. Piston issues very early in the LeHi race held at Memphis-Arkansas Speedway left him 25th, and various woes kept him to 43rd place in the Darlington Southern 500.
Kite made a new approach during his solo 1956 appearance, making his start at the tiny Shelby track located at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. But even the small field of 17 could not be conquered by Kite, who fell a number of laps down and finished 11th.
Kite waited until 1965 to return to the sport, competing for the first time at the speedy Charlotte Motor Speedway. It would be a tragic return for the former Army captain: Just one lap into the National 400, Kite was involved in a five-car pileup on the fourth turn. He was struck by Jimmy Helms, who suffered cuts and bruises. Kite, 43, was pronounced dead on arrival at the infield hospital.
Kite was inducted into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2011.
- "Lorenzen takes Charlotte duel". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. Associated Press. October 18, 1965.
- "Helms ready to go again but wants rigid rules". The Spartanburg Herald. Associated Press. October 21, 1965.
- Reed, Brandon (October 28, 2011). "Georgia Racing Hall of Fame Honors 2011 Inductees". www.GeorgiaRacingHistory.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2012.