Young Gun Runs in Top Five At Mansfield Before Having Cooling System Problems
Travis Kittleson has driven just about anything that you can put on a short track. He’s raced in the NASCAR Busch Series. He took part in the final season of the ASA National Tour. He’s tested a couple of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series entries and he’s been an absolute terror in the world of Super Late Model and PASS South competition.
Travis Kittleson keeps his #33 in front of Gary St. Amant at Mansfield. (Kathy Bond Photo)
Now, you can add the USAR Pro Cup Series to that list. Kittleson made his series debut this past weekend driving the #33 Lucas Oil entry at Mansfield Motorsports Park (OH). In typical Kittleson fashion, he fit right in putting the car in the top five before being sidelined by mechanical problems.
“It’s fun learning the different styles of driving in different things – Pro Cup vs. Super Late Model vs. ASA vs. Truck vs. Busch Series car,” said Kittleson. “Every time that you are in a car, you learn something and I think that I learned a lot in the Pro Cup car that I could apply to a Truck or a Busch car.
“I liked it a lot. I was super impressed. I thought that it would be a lot like a Busch car. Those are really sensitive to drive. You can’t overdrive the corners with one or it will drive out into the parking lot. The Pro Cup car was a little different. They were fun and the field was
competitive. We had a really good car and that helped too.”
Going from one type of racecar to another is a challenge that Kittleson not only is up to, but one that he welcomes.
“If you’re on your game and racing a lot, it’s not that hard. I’ve gone from the ASA car to a Super Late Model and back and after about the first or second lap, you realize what you need to be doing as far as getting on the brakes or gas. It doesn’t take long if you are on your A-Game.”
There was doubt that Kittleson was on his A-Game at Mansfield. He was near the top of each practice session speed chart and backed that up with a qualifying run of seventh. He then ran in the top five for much of the early going before a spin occurred while he battled for the fourth position.
Kittleson lost one lap in that incident and was in the process of making it up when an air pocket in the cooling system of his car caused the water temperature to run in excess of 270 degrees. Kittleson had to park the #33 car and had to settle for a finish of 24th.
Still, it was a successful outing.
“I think that I showed everyone that we can be competitive. I think that I earned some respect. I did get a little rough at times, but they did it to me, too. I don’t think that I stepped on anyone’s toes. I didn’t wreck anybody. I showed that I could be someone that could be trusted to race against.”
Kittleson is looking forward to future events in the USAR Pro Cup Series.
Kittleson is used to winning in many different types of cars. (51 Photo)
“We’re in the midst of working some things out,” said Kittleson. “We would definitely like to do some more Pro Cup racing. Not only is it fun, but it is a good series to race in. The atmosphere from tech to the way the race is run is great. If there is something wrong with the car, they let you know and give you some time to fix it. They are crazy about stuff and that just makes it that much more fun to go racing.”
Kittleson hopes to announce his future racing plans shortly.