Kittleson tunes up with Hickory test

Kittleson Tunes Up For ASA Opener with Hickory Test Team Getting Both Speedway and Short Track Cars Prepared For 2004 CONCORD, NC (March 11, 2004) -- After months of hard work in completely rebuilding both of his race cars, Travis Kittleson made...

Kittleson Tunes Up For ASA Opener with Hickory Test
Team Getting Both Speedway and Short Track Cars Prepared For 2004

CONCORD, NC (March 11, 2004) -- After months of hard work in completely rebuilding both of his race cars, Travis Kittleson made one final tune-up to prepare for the upcoming 2004 ASA season. The 24-year-old tested both of his cars at Hickory Motor Speedway this past week. Kittleson walked away from the track quite happy; feeling that he was ready to get the 2004 season underway, which commences on March 27th at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL.

"I feel really pumped after this test," said Kittleson. "The biggest thing we wanted to do out at Hickory was shake down both of the cars and also knock the rust off of me. We have two cars this year; one will be our primary short track car and the other will be a primary speedway car. We really wanted to get a feel of the speedway car and make sure, if needed, it would be a good backup for the short tracks too.

"The speedway car isn't really that different. It is probably 20 pounds heavier with all of the extra bracing and some of the modifications that we had to do to it to get it ready to run on the big tracks. So we just wanted to bring it out to a good short track and get a feel for the car. We know the short track car will make a good backup to the speedway car if need be too; we would just have to add some extra bracing to the body of the car."

Kittleson's Bob Steele Chevrolet cars sported an entirely new look as well, thanks to the redesign of the ASA cars mandated by the sanctioning body this year. The short track car is all black with silver accents along the bottom, while the speedway car is a complete reverse and is all silver with black accents. The number, according to ASA rules, is now on the lower-back quarter panel.

"We just got the cars lettered up and we were ready to get out here and do a little testing. More than just shaking the cars down and making sure we had everything tight and that there were no leaks anywhere, I wanted to get myself ready. You get used to sitting behind a computer and playing racing video games during the off season, so I was ready to get back behind the wheel."

It wasn't just a typical test for Kittleson, however. Halfway through the day, he looped one of his rides coming down the frontstretch. He did, however, avoid any contact with the wall.

"Yeah, that is the last thing that you want to happen at a test, especially after you just worked so hard during the off season getting the cars ready for the year. We just got a little loose coming off four and I tried to save it going down the front and she finally went around, just barely missing the inside wall, and slid back up on the track. It was ok, but I was thinking a million things as it spun."

Overall though, Kittleson said the test was a complete success.

"My crew chief (Gary Crooks) really had these cars ready and we just did some minor tweaking to them at the race track. Overall, I'd say it was a big success and I'm ready to get on the road to Florida. I feel good about the year."

Kittleson and his R/T Racing/Bob Steele Chevrolet team are planning to run the entire ASA schedule in 2004 after a ninth-place finishing position in the ASA final national standings of 2003. However, they are still looking for a marketing partner to help them in their quest for the 2004 ASA National Championship. For inquiries, call the team at 321-693-6700 and be sure to visit traviskittleson.com for more information.

-r/t-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Travis Kittleson