Kittleson Goes Back to Lake Erie One Year Wiser Florida Driver Not Afraid to Climb the Banks for a Top Finish CONCORD, NC (May 26, 2004) -- As 24-year-old ASA National Tour driver Travis Kittleson gets ready to visit Lake Erie Speedway (PA) for...
Kittleson Goes Back to Lake Erie One Year Wiser
Florida Driver Not Afraid to Climb the Banks for a Top Finish
CONCORD, NC (May 26, 2004) -- As 24-year-old ASA National Tour driver Travis Kittleson gets ready to visit Lake Erie Speedway (PA) for the second time in his career, he does so with more experience, a better prepared team and greater chances at success than he did for last year's event.
It's not as though he performed poorly last year - the Florida driver led 76 laps before late race troubles dropped him to a 13th place finish.
"We had a great car last year," Kittleson said. "We led some laps and had a bad pit stop. We were coming back through the field using the high groove and I just went too high. I hit the cushion with the right rear and the car just came around on me. We were up to fifth with about 10-15 last to go. It was a rookie mistake."
The progressive banking at Lake Erie allows for two groove racing around the track. Most drivers have said that they prefer racing on the bottom. Despite his spin last year, Kittleson feels right at home up high and that could be the key to victory lane this time around.
"Hopefully the other guys will stick to the bottom and leave the top for us," said Kittleson. "I really took well to the high side. I liked running there when we tested last year and liked it even more when we came back and started to practice. Maybe it's because we seem to perform well on high-banked tracks. I feel very comfortable up there."
Kittleson's #30 Bob Steele Chevrolet team is currently second in ASA National Tour points. They have improved this season to wear the badge of legitimate title contenders.
"We've really focused on being well prepared going into this year," said Kittleson. "We've learned from our mistakes last year and we have the opportunity to take the ball and run with it. Our cars are good and our pit crew is fast. At Kentucky, we gained spots in the pits and made up a lot of ground there."
The team's success is even more impressive since their pockets are not quite as deep as a few of their main rivals.
"I'm not crying broke, but we don't have what some of the other teams spend," Kittleson said. "It just proves how much heart my guys have to be able to compete against those teams and do well."
Last week, the #30 team tested at the Hickory Speedway (NC) and learned a few things to try and a few things to avoid with their car.
"Our test went great," said Kittleson. "We got to try out some different set-ups and a few non-conventional things to do with the car to try and stay ahead of the game. We also learned a few things not to do. It was very valuable to us."
The Erie 250 at Lake Erie Speedway will be televised live on SPEED Channel this Saturday night, May 29 at 8 pm (EST).