Ukiah, CA – The route to the race tracks is new to him and so are some of the crew members who work on his car, but Kyle Tellstrom has made all the changes without losing the performance edge that has made him a championship hopeful in the Lucas Oil Modified Series.
That was evident on Saturday (March 19) when Tellstrom drove the Creevan Racing/Forward Investments/Vogel’s Rvs STR Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish in the Colorado River 100 at Havasu 95 Speedway in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
The event was the first of 10 points races that will determine the series champion and after his best finish on the tricky quarter-mile oval that also will host the title finale in late October Tellstrom is confident that he will be a contender.
The 20-year-old Tellstrom moved from his hometown of Ukiah, California, to Boise, Idaho, during the winter to attend Boise State University and he made the trip south with fellow racer Shelby Stroebel’s crew from Meridian, Idaho.
They stopped in Las Vegas, where Tellstrom lent his help to Stroebel, rookie driver Shane Skaggs and Phil’s Phabrication team owner Chris Bray as they put the finishing touches on two new cars, and then Tellstrom made the two-hour trip to Lake Havasu City with the Dale Hayen team.
That’s something he was able to do because the car he and grandfather Al Vogel ran on their own the past two years has been folded into Creevan Racing, a new team started during the off-season by Michael and Marty Creevan and Wade Miller, with Tellstrom and Wes Miller as the drivers, and they prepared the car and transported it to the track.
“We were very fast from the time we unloaded,” said Tellstrom, who topped the timing sheet for a while during a Friday night practice and finished the session sixth after making what he called “very positive changes.”
The speed wasn’t evident during Saturday’s practice but the emphasis was on preparing for qualifying, and when each of the 30 drivers had run their two laps Tellstrom was second-fastest. Unfortunately, pacesetter Austin Barnes drew an eight for the inversion so Tellstrom started on the inside of the fourth row instead of the outside of the front row.
“Our plan for the race was to try to save the tires and have a good car at the end,” he said. That plan almost was undone in a multi-car incident on an early restart, but Tellstrom’s car wasn’t damaged and he ran in the top five the rest of the night.
“We had a strong car the last 20 laps,” Tellstrom said. “I think I could have picked up a spot or two if we had had a late-race caution. I tried everything I could to get around Taylor (Miinch, who finished third) in the last 15 laps, but he was planted on the bottom and didn’t make any mistakes. Still, fourth is my best finish at Havasu 95 Speedway and it’s a great way to start the year.”
“Mike Creevan and I are really starting to hit our stride together and everything is coming together really well between our two teams. I’m really looking forward to Tucson (April 9). I haven’t been there with a good car yet. I’ve had good success on 3/8-mile tracks in the past and I have a feeling we’ll be strong there, especially if the track is as racy as it was last year.”
Kyle Tellstrom Racing wants to thank Creevan Racing, Vogel’s RVs, Forward Investments, PFC Brakes, JOES Racing Products, Sorry Bout Your Luck, I Wear Multimedia, STR, Speed51.com, Specialy Engineering, TCS Suspension, Jason’s Mobile Decal, Ron’s Rear Ends and Zamp Helmets for making the whole effort possible with their incredible support.
Follow Kyle Tellstrom and Kyle Tellstrom Racing on Facebook, Twitter (@kyletellstrom5k) and Instagram (fast5k).
-Kyle Tellstrom Racing Press Release. Photo Credit: Kyle Tellstrom Racing