CONCORD, NC (July 30, 2003) -- Just a few weeks ago, Florida car dealer Bob Steele found himself in the hospital while friend and ASA rookie driver Travis Kittleson was competing on the half-mile Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin. But...
CONCORD, NC (July 30, 2003) -- Just a few weeks ago, Florida car dealer Bob Steele found himself in the hospital while friend and ASA rookie driver Travis Kittleson was competing on the half-mile Madison International Speedway in Wisconsin. But all the while, Kittleson had his long-time sponsor and friend on his mind as Bob went through some rough times in the hospital.
Now things are looking up for Steele, who has recovered from a triple-bypass surgery. And they are looking up for Kittleson as well, and Travis couldn't be any happier about both.
"Bob and the entire Steele family have been a big part of my racing career," says Travis as he prepares for this weekend's ASA race at Berlin Raceway in Marne, MI. "They have been with my dad and I almost since the beginning of when we started this whole racing deal.
"I think it was a way for Bob to repay my father for all he had done for him. My father was really goal-oriented, so he was always working and we didn't get to spend as much time as either of us would have liked while I was growing up. I think Mr. Steele (Bob) saw that and, being that he is a real family man, he knew that racing would be a good way for my father and I to do a lot together.
"He has really supported everything we were doing; we owe a lot to him. But he has given us a lot more than just some money to go racing, Bob and his entire family have meant a lot to me, my father and our entire family."
Kittleson wanted to dedicate a win to Bob Steele in Madison, but unfortunately Kittleson didn't achieve the victory. He did, however, make up points on his rookie rival, Reed Sorenson. Even though Steele is now out of the hospital, Kittleson still hopes he can win a race for his longtime supporter.
"I want to win a race for myself, but even more, I would love to win it for my father, for Mr. Steele and all of the people that have really helped me get to this level that I am at today. With all their help, we have put together something that I am really proud of. Now, we just got to put it all together for a win."
Kittleson had hoped to test at the .438-mile oval in preparation for the August 2nd race (LIVE on SPEED Channel at 9 pm Eastern), but the track was closed for a private test session.
"We were able to watch other cars there during the private test and we refreshed ourselves on the quick line around the place. I think we will have something for them this weekend."