Odessa: Travis Kittleson race notes

Kittleson rolls to another top-10 in ASA despite bum engine CONCORD, NC (June 18, 2003) -- Travis Kittleson is proving to everyone he has the stuff it takes to make it in the racing world. He is attempting to use ASA, the premier short track ...

Kittleson rolls to another top-10 in ASA despite bum engine

CONCORD, NC (June 18, 2003) -- Travis Kittleson is proving to everyone he has the stuff it takes to make it in the racing world. He is attempting to use ASA, the premier short track series in America, as a stepping stone to the upper levels of NASCAR. And as a series rookie he is turning a lot of heads. With seven races in the books, Kittleson has collected five top-10 finishes and sits sixth in the point standings heading into this weekend's event in Mansfield, OH.

Kittleson and the Bob Steele Chevrolet team are even making the bad races look good. Such was the case last Saturday in Odessa, MO when, just five laps into the 250-lap race, the engine on his number-30 racecar began to miss. Even with the faulty engine, Kittleson was able to stay in the top-10 all night and finished ninth overall.

"When things are going your way, they are going your way," said Kittleson with a smile. "It was a great weekend up until about five laps into the race when I realized that something was going wrong with the motor. We were fast, but I felt like we had half a motor. I wish I had what everyone else had (in the engine department). The car was just awesome. The car was so good; even with the motor being down on power, I could catch them and even run faster than them in the corners.

"Just being able to finish in the top 10 with the motor being down shows you just how good this team is. They are on top of their game. I know we'll rebound even better in the coming races. It was somewhat frustrating, but only because I knew I had a car that was better than the leader."

The engine started showing signs that there was some internal problems just as practice started. As the day went on, it seemed to get better, but now they feel they cannot trust the engine.

"We have to send it off to Lingenfelter to get it checked out," added Kittleson. "And they found out there were all kinds of variables that contributed to the lack of power. It had a bad exhaust leak, a couple of bad plugs and we found some metal floating around in it.

"We had to buy a new motor, which was not in our budget. Thankfully, we had it ordered on Monday and had it by Tuesday morning. Who knows, maybe a new motor will help us run better like it has for Chris Wimmer."

Kittleson and the Bob Steele Chevrolet / RT Racing team will move onto Mansfield Motorsports Speedway, another place that the team tested weeks ago.

"Testing has really helped us," said Kittleson. "We are adapting to these tracks that we have never seen before and the testing has done that for us. This way we don't have to spend practice time doing things we would do during the tests. They have been really helpful for us."

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

-51ss-

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Chris Wimmer , Travis Kittleson