Harold Kite, of East Point, Georgia, was born November 14, 1922 in Atlanta. Kite’s family was in the auto parts business, which led to Harold’s love for things mechanical and for speed.
Kite served as a tank driver in World War II, and became interested in racing following the war. Over the years, he would compete and win at stock cars at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, at the famed Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, at the Birmingham Fairgrounds and at Iron Bowl in Alabama. He would also compete in a midget racer for fellow Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Jimmy Baker at the Peach Bowl.
In 1950, Kite decided to try his hand at the new NASCAR Strictly Stock division, which would later become the Sprint Cup division. Piloting a 1949 Lincoln, Kite started third in his first NASCAR event on the beach course in Daytona on February 5. He soon made his way to the lead, and would stay there for 38 of the race’s 48 laps, holding off fellow Georgia Racing Hall of Fame member Red Byron to win by a 53 second margin.
Kite would compete in seven more NASCAR Sprint Cup events from 1950 through 1956, racing at Darlington, South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina and North Wilkesboro, North Carolina. In 1951, he finished sixth in he famed Southern 500 at Darlington.
At the same time, he continued to compete at the Peach Bowl, Lakewood and other small tracks around the south, picking up wins and competing against other Hall of Fame caliber racers.
In 1965, Kite decided to make a return to NASCAR’s Sprint Cup series by competing in the National 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 17.
Kite qualified 24th piloting a Plymouth owned by Harold Mays.
Tragically, Kite was caught up in multi-car cash on the second lap that took his life. He was 43 years of age.
His legacy continues today, as his daughter Lisa serves as a long time volunteer at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.