Travis Kittleson scores first ASA podium finish. Florida driver still on a charge up the ASA points ladder. CONCORD, NC (April 22, 2003) -- Rookie Travis Kittleson continues to shock the ASA community with speed and consistency. It's ...
Travis Kittleson scores first ASA podium finish.
Florida driver still on a charge up the ASA points ladder.
CONCORD, NC (April 22, 2003) -- Rookie Travis Kittleson continues to shock the ASA community with speed and consistency. It's surprising only due to the fact that he is a rookie. He nearly stole the show at Concord Motorsport Park on Saturday night during the BFGoodrich 250. Kittleson finished second, his third straight top-10 finish of the year and his first appearance ever on an ASA podium. He is beginning to build a solid base in his quest of the $50,000 Rookie of the Year prize.
With just 20 laps remaining, it appeared that Kittleson was on his way to winning his first career American Speed Association race. Unfortunately, the tires on his #30 machine didn't hold up and Kittleson fell back to third place. But the complexion of the race changed dramatically on the last lap. The two cars battling for the lead touched; one went spinning toward the wall and Kittleson was in the catbirds seat ready to pounce. He snuck into second, but couldn't catch the leader. A second-place finish was his best career ASA outing.
"This is a place that I wanted to run well at," admitted Kittleson after the race. "There are lots of eyes on this town and at this race. I tried to be as level headed as I could for the entire race, which is just something that I am working on to become a better driver. I just tried not to make any mistakes. The Bob Steele Chevrolet is getting better and better and I think this is just the beginning.
"Right there near the end, I thought we had the race won and then that last caution came out; it really hurt us. I thought the right front (tire) was coming apart. That is when (Mike) Garvey got under us. I think we could have held them off near the end if we could have gotten a rhythm going and that caution hadn't come out."
Ironically enough, the team suffered through radio problems all night. His crew could speak to him, but Travis could not talk to the team on pitroad. Yet, Travis admits he wouldn't have done much talking in those final laps while watching the battle between Davin Scites and Mike Garvey.
"I was ready to pounce on that situation," added Kittleson. "I wanted that lead back. I was mad at myself for pushing it too hard when it was just Reed (Sorenson) and I at the front. I had six or seven car lengths advantage and I didn't have to push it like I did; I learned from that. But there at the end, when those two guys got together, I was going to do whatever I had to do. I just saw two guys racing really hard for the same piece of real estate. I wasn't going to jump on the brakes even if I had to."
With the second-place finish, Kittleson moved up to third in the ASA National Championship point standings, just 63 markers behind leader Kevin Cywinski. He now leads Boris Jurkovic in the rookie standings by 101 points.
Kittleson and the team now head to Lanier National Speedway (GA) on Saturday evening for the Georgia 250. The race will be televised live on SPEED Channel beginning at 9pm (ET).
Despite the team's top-three position in the point standings, they are still looking for sponsorship to help them in their run for the 2003 ASA National Championship and Rookie of the Year title. For inquiries, call the team at 321-693-6700 and be sure to visit traviskittleson.com for more information.