Travis Kittleson SpeedFest USA Lakeland notes

Not Even Food Poisoning Can Keep Kittleson Out of a Racecar Travis Comes Back For Top-10 in Lakeland, Now Ready For Pete Orr Memorial CONCORD, NC (January 31, 2005) -- Travis Kittleson won't let anything stand in the way of being the very best...

Not Even Food Poisoning Can Keep Kittleson Out of a Racecar
Travis Comes Back For Top-10 in Lakeland, Now Ready For Pete Orr Memorial

CONCORD, NC (January 31, 2005) -- Travis Kittleson won't let anything stand in the way of being the very best racecar driver he can be, not even a little food poisoning.

Kittleson fought off the effects of a severe case of food poisoning while at USA International Speedway (Lakeland, FL) for "SpeedFest 2005" to finish an impressive eighth in Saturday night's 200-lap feature against some of the best Super Late Model drivers in the country.

Kittleson practiced his #88 Bob Steele Chevrolet ride on Thursday, but elected to sit out of Thursday night's events because when he fell ill. Kittleson was so bad, the team didn't even show up to the track on Friday, losing another entire day's worth of practice and qualifying (Friday night's race was rained out). Yet Kittleson was determined to race the event and returned to the track on Saturday.

With nearly two days lost to the other competitors, and Kittleson still not 100-percent, the team worked their tails off and got the car into the show and eventually into the top-10 at the end of the night.

"Food poising is not fun, that's for sure, and it certainly hurt us this weekend as a team," said Kittleson, who ran as high as third at one point during Saturday night's race, which pitted the best Super Late Model drivers from five different touring series. "We didn't get too much practice in the car. Instead, I had a lot of practice while being in agony and even hallucinating at times.

"So on Saturday, we were behind and scrambling. We got the car to just where it was drive-able and ran out of practice time. So we just rolled the dice and it seemed to work out well for us."

Kittleson looked to have one of the fastest cars on the track, but a problem with an air gun during on of his pit stops put him behind and forced him to race his way back toward the front of the field.

"All in all, it was a good race. I really can't complain about tonight. We had a pit gun break too. All of that stuff and we still finished where we did means I'm pretty happy. With the situation we were in this weekend, I'll take it.

"It is one thing that we've got 40-plus guys here bringing the best equipment in the country and another thing that the drivers are some of the best in the business. So when you are gone for two days and they've had two days of practice and qualifying that you're missing, you are behind. It shows a lot of about our team with where we finished and that's why I'm happy with it. These guys here are on top of their game."

Now, it is on to the Pete Orr Memorial for Kittleson, a race that is very dear to his heart. The event pays tribute to Kittleson's long-time friend and one-time crew chief.

"There isn't a race that will mean as much to me all year long as this one," said Kittleson, who got the chance to race Orr many times before his passing. "Pete was such a great friend, but he was even a better human being. He really helped shape my racing career through his advice and by my just watching and learning from him on the track. When Pete passed away a couple of years ago, we all lost someone very special. It is such a great thing to have a race in his honor. This was one of the races that Pete was synonymous with. He won it a lot of times (four), more than anyone else. I want nothing more than to win this race in his honor."

R/T Racing is looking for marketing partners for their 2005 motorsports program. For inquiries, call the team at 321-693-6700 and be sure to visit traviskittleson.com for more information.

-r/tr-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Travis Kittleson