Kyle Tellstrom made a trip back home this weekend, sort of. That is if “home” is victory lane at Meridian Speedway. After winning the Late Model championship at the track in 2018, he’s back with car owner Lee Hackney in 2019 and kicked off the season in style Saturday night by winning the Builders First Source 100.
“Early last year [Hackney] kind of hit me up and said ‘Hey, do you want to come race my Late Model?’ and it kind of just blossomed into a full season for me in the championship here locally at Meridian,” Tellstrom said. “We kind of talked about doing some other stuff this year and it wasn’t until probably January he said, ‘Hey, here’s what I’m saying, ‘Let’s go for it again.’ So, after our success last year, we’re going to go try it again, see if we can win some more races and back up our championship last season.”
Qualifying third on the night, Tellstrom was afraid he was going to get freight trained by west coast heavyweight John Newhouse off the start. However, he held it together and worked his way up to the front of the field by lap 20.
“I thought they were going to freight train run the outside on top to catch up and it kind of worked where I was able to get up in front of them and pick everybody off one by one on the inside,” Tellstrom said. “I think we got up to the lead about 20 laps into the race and just kind of paced it from there. We had a couple red flags and a couple cars into the fence and made a big fire show for the fans, but we were really strong and just kind of able to pace the race and make everyone play my game rather than playing chase and pass other fast cars.
“You know for me, I love obviously winning a race. Winning a race in theory is always good no matter how you get them; you know they’re sometimes few and far between.”
When asked what’s next on his busy racing schedule, Tellstrom gave a quick laugh before detailing what’s currently on tap for the remainder of the 2019 season.
“At the moment I’m kind of, I don’t want to say I’m an outlaw, but I don’t have a whole lot of planned stuff going on,” he explained. “I’ve got these five or six Late Model dates on the calendar penciled in; we’re going to run for the championship again. Then from there it’s honestly when my grandpa gets bored and wants to go run the Modified up in California, which hopefully he gets bored more than he says he is because at the moment I think we got four or five on the schedule. But I’d sure like to run that thing some more, and then I think we’ll run the Sprint a handful of times throughout the year when I can, and then whatever else I can weasel my way into. I’ll definitely be looking to drive whatever I can this year and we’ll see what happens.”
The next event on the schedule for Tellstrom and the Big 5 Late Models at Meridian Speedway will be a 50-lap race on Monday, May 27.
-Story by: Allick Jorgensen, Speed51.com National Correspondent – Twitter: @ajorgensen24
– Photo Credit: Meridian Speedway