Boise, Idaho (May 3, 2016) – It was a good trip home from the race track for Kyle Tellstrom. He had reached his goal for the weekend with a fifth-place finish in the Lucas Oil Modified Series return to Irwindale Event Center in Southern California.
That hadn't been the case three weeks earlier, when the Boise State University student had finished out of the top 10 for the first time in six races, and he considered his Irwindale weekend “a great rebound after a poor run at Tucson (Arizona).”
A good qualifying run, a win in the Trophy Dash, a fifth in the 75-lap race on an ultra-fast half-mile oval and a jump to an unofficial tie for third in the championship point standings do have a way of brightening a driver's outlook.
“We ran a great race,” Tellstrom said of himself and the rookie Creevan Racing team. “It was what we needed to keep moving forward as a team. Saying thanks doesn't express my appreciation to Mike Creevan, Morgan Roberts, Wade Miller, Wes Miller and Allan Webster and everyone involved with this CREEVAN RACING team for all their support.”
Tellstrom took a little more relaxed approach to the Irwindale race by arriving at the track a day early to watch an open practice and talk to other drivers. On Friday, even though the team elected to practice with used tires, Tellstrom said he was more comfortable than he'd ever been at the half-mile oval. Saturday he reinforced that feeling by qualifying sixth in the 30-car field despite the fact his Creevan Racing/Vogels RV/Forward Investments STR Chevrolet was “really tight” from the center of the turns through the exit.
His qualifying effort got Tellstrom the pole for the 6-lap Trophy Dash, which he won without relinquishing the lead at any time, and the 8-car invert put him on the inside of the second row for the start of the race.
The 20-year-old drove an intelligent race and didn't take unnecessary chances. He and crew chief/spotter Mike Creevan also made good use of the series' Delaware double file restarts, in which a cone on the track allows the driver to choose either the high or low line for the side-by-side restarts. Tellstrom was third when the sixth of seven caution flags waved on lap 70 but fell back when his car sputtered on the restart and he brushed the wall exiting Turn 4 after he and Dylan Cappello made incidental contact, then regrouped to finish fifth behind Travis Thirkettle, Ryan Partridge, Matthew Hicks and Cappello. “I think we would have finished third if it hadn't been for those two late yellows,” Tellstrom said, “but heading into the weekend my goal was to pick up another top 5 and we met that goal. Consistency this early in the season has put us in a great position to be a championship contender"
In his past eight starts Tellstrom has five top 5 finishes, including his first series win at Madera, California, in October, and seven top 10s. The series next race is May 21st at the Bullring @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Statistically this is Tellstrom's best track with 5th, 6th and 4th place finishes in his three starts at he high speed 3/8s mile track. "I've had good cars every race in Vegas, it's just a track that really suits me as a driver. I feel this is a race we have a great opportunity to find ourselves in victory lane for the first time this season!"
Kyle Tellstrom Racing would like to thank Creevan Racing, Vogel's RVs, Forward Investments, Joes Racing Products, Performance Friction Brakes, Sorry 'Bout Your Luck, I WEAR Multimedia, Speed51.com, Specialty Engineering, TCS Suspension, Jason's Mobile Decal, STR, Lucas Oil and Lucas Oil Racing TV for their incredible support making this venture possible.
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