Odessa: Travis Kittleson I-70 preview

CONCORD, NC (June 11, 2003) -- Unless you are running in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the state of Florida doesn't have many high-banked racetracks for young racers to compete on. In fact, ASA rookie contender Travis Kittleson had never seen ...

CONCORD, NC (June 11, 2003) -- Unless you are running in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, the state of Florida doesn't have many high-banked racetracks for young racers to compete on. In fact, ASA rookie contender Travis Kittleson had never seen anything like I-70 Speedway and its 28-degree banks and super fast speeds. That's why his recent test session was so important. And now Kittleson can hardly wait for this weekend's ASA Missouri 250 at the half-mile speedplant.

"You hear about these types of tracks ever since you start racing," said Kittleson, who sits second in the ASA rookie point standings. "People always talk about them when you are coming up through the ranks, so it will be fun to finally get on one of these high-banked wonders.

"At first, I-70 was intimidating. I've never been on anything that banked. From in the car, it looked like an in-car camera from Daytona. There just aren't tracks like I-70, Salem, Winchester and Nashville in Florida. New Smyrna, and Five Flags (Pensacola) are only semi-banked tracks, but then again, they are still pretty fast."

It is his track time this year in ASA at these high-banked speedways that Kittleson hopes will propel him to other high-banked tracks someday; ones in the NASCAR realm with the names of Bristol (TN) and Daytona (FL).

"You run on tracks like these and it wears off the shock of running at places like Daytona down the road. I just hope that running some of these tracks leads me to Daytona, Talladega, Dover, Bristol and places like that someday. That is something that I would love to do and I just hope my time here gets me ready for that. But first, I am concentrating on winning races and winning this rookie of the year honor in ASA; it is very important to me."

Kittleson spent some time at I-70 Speedway several weeks ago to practice for this weekend's race. It was key for the entire #30 Bob Steele Chevrolet team; it taught them the idiosyncrasies of the old, rugged track.

"I'm absolutely glad we went to I-70 to test there. There are some bumps and humps and stuff you have to deal with there. Gary Crooks, my crew chief, has been doing a lot of shock work to make the bumps and transitions more comfortable on me in the car.

"The one thing I have learned about just running at these types of is that you can be more aggressive. It is a nice change from places like Cedar Rapids that you have to be so careful and smooth on. These tracks are fun; you don't get to run on them all the time, so it is pretty special when you go to them because you get to go play a little!"

The Missouri 250 is set for Saturday evening at 9 pm (Eastern) and will be televised live on SPEED Channel.

-traviskittleson.com-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Travis Kittleson