Lowe's Motor Speedway Means Something Special To Kittleson After Moving To North Carolina, Race Win Would Be Extra Special CONCORD, NC (October 12, 2004) -- When the American Speed Association's National Tour visits Lowe's Motor Speedway just ...
Lowe's Motor Speedway Means Something Special To Kittleson
After Moving To North Carolina, Race Win Would Be Extra Special
CONCORD, NC (October 12, 2004) -- When the American Speed Association's National Tour visits Lowe's Motor Speedway just outside Charlotte (NC) this week, it will be like a new homecoming of sorts for 24-year-old Travis Kittleson. Kittleson was born in Wisconsin, raised in Florida and now calls North Carolina his home. So, in essence, Lowe's Motor Speedway could be his new "home track."
However, unlike most home tracks, Kittleson has never made a start at the 1.5-mile Lowe's Motor Speedway, but he can hardly wait to. It's been a place Kittleson has dreamed about running since he was a little boy. Last week, he got his first taste of one of the most popular tracks in the country when he tested his #30 Bob Steele Chevrolet during an open ASA test session in preparation for the upcoming Aaron's 99.
"I'm pumped," said Kittleson after last week's test at the track. "There is so much hype to this place and you see it on TV all the time. All week long, I've just been ready to go. It is always exciting to come to a place like this that you always watched growing up."
For Kittleson, it was pretty much a natural choice to move his race shop to Mooresville (NC), which is the same to stock car racing as Hollywood is to the movie industry. Mooresville, nicknamed "Race City USA," houses nearly 75-percent of all the NASCAR Truck, Busch and Cup Series teams that run on a regular basis.
"When we moved to Mooresville, we did it for several reasons. It was a closer to many of the ASA races compared to housing (our team) in Florida as we did before, but more importantly, it was right in the heart of it all in the racing world. If you need parts, need to get some specialty work done or anything, you are right here. Plus, this is the place to be if you want to try and further your racing career and that is what we have our eye one. It was just advantageous from the get go."
The last ASA race on the schedule came at the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway, where Kittleson was strong, but wrecked after a tire went down while he was running in the top-five. That meant that the open test at LMS last week was even more important for Kittleson and the team because they had to get their backup car ready for its speedway debut.
"This is a track that will get your attention," said Kittleson of LMS. "Kentucky is so different. It is smoother and wider. It is less crazy. You get out of the car here and you are like 'whoa.' It took a little bit getting used to this place. It is narrow, narrow, narrow though. It is as narrow as New Smyrna (Speedway, FL). When you see the (NASCAR) guys on TV go three-wide, you just don't know how they do it.
"Our test went pretty good. We played with the car a bunch. At one point, we were pretty fast. Just not as fast as (Mike) Garvey. We need to get our stuff together to get that fast. He's really set the bar high.
"We need to get it done. I think it is going to be a wild race. I thought Kentucky was one thing, but as narrow as this place is and with us holding it wide open, it is going to be wild."
The ASA National Tour's Aaron's 99 takes place Thursday night at the Lowe's Motor Speedway. The race is scheduled to start at 8:45pm, following the running of NASCAR Nextel Cup and Busch Series qualifying.
Kittleson and his R/T Racing/Bob Steele Chevrolet team have been running the ASA schedule in 2004 after a ninth-place finishing position in the ASA final national standings of 2003. They will also be making their NASCAR Busch Series debut at the Memphis Motorsports Park on October 23.