The Ball Is In Kittleson's Court Heading Into Second Race Superspeedway Testing At Atlanta on Tap Before Lanier Race CONCORD, NC (April 27, 2004) -- For the first time in his brief ASA career, 24-year-old Travis Kittleson will head into this ...
The Ball Is In Kittleson's Court Heading Into Second Race
Superspeedway Testing At Atlanta on Tap Before Lanier Race
CONCORD, NC (April 27, 2004) -- For the first time in his brief ASA career, 24-year-old Travis Kittleson will head into this weekend's ASA event with everyone else gunning for him. The ASA sophomore enters the Lanier 250 at Lanier National Speedway (GA) as the series point's leader. Kittleson finished second in the first event of the year, but also picked up valuable bonus points by leading the most laps and qualifying in the top-five. All of that gives him a one-point margin in the standings over three-time champion Butch Miller, who won the season-opener.
"It is good to be on top, even if it is only after one event, but we want to be there for a lot more," remarked Kittleson. "It is important to be on top no matter how many races you have run. It keeps me thinking of a couple of things that some people have told me. One of the guys on my team keeps saying 'it is easier to keep up than it is to catch up' and that is very true.
"My father has also always told me that 'when you get the opportunity and the ball is in your hands, you need to run with it.' I know damn well these other drivers will come after me, but while we have the ball, we are going to take it and run. I am not saying we won't drop the ball; that happens in racing. But if we do drop the ball, we won't quit; we'll pick up and keep on going. That is how we are viewing this season."
Kittleson and his Bob Steele Chevrolet team have kept plenty busy since the ASA opener. The team participated in an open test session at Kentucky Speedway and also had a couple of private test sessions at Hickory Motor Speedway. Now the team will also take their "speedway car" to Atlanta Motor Speedway on Thursday (April 29).
"I just love running these big speedway tracks," said Kittleson, who turned in top-10 times at Kentucky according to the ASA scoring monitors. "But really, we've even used some of our tests at Hickory to work on things for the big tracks. You would be surprised how much you can do on a little track and use it on the big tracks. You can work on things like body roll at a short track and it applies to the big speedways."
Kittleson will not overlook the big picture, though, which is the 3/8-mile Lanier National Speedway, the second race of the 2004 ASA season. It's the shortest track on the ASA schedule (along with the 3/8-mile Elko Speedway in Minnesota).
"We'll have a blast at Atlanta and then we'll move on and focus on Lanier," added Kittleson. "I have to redeem myself there. We had a great car there last year and never got the chance to show it because we got in an accident about 20 laps into the race when we got into a lapped car that had wrecked in front of us. We qualified fourth that day, and we were coming to the front. I have no doubt we would have been a contender there and I know we will be there again.
"I have quite an advantage at Lanier, because it is a lot like Orlando Speedworld in Florida. (Also a 3/8-mile track). I can take that and use it as an advantage."
The Lanier 250 will be televised live on SPEED Channel this Saturday night (May 1) at 8 pm (EST).