POST FALLS, ID – Kyle Tellstrom will be one of three current or former Ukiah Speedway (CA) drivers headed to Stateline Speedway for the Idaho 200. Each of those three drivers has found success in asphalt oval track racing. Jeremy Doss has multiple touring series championships. Trevor Cristiani has championships in the Northwest Super Late Model Series, Rocky Mountain Challenges Series, and the Pacific Challenge Series. Tellstrom has found success in his own right. And although he doesn’t have the touring series championships that Doss and Cristiani possess, he will be a driver to keep an eye on this weekend.
Tellstrom has proven his on-track skill at many levels, and at a variety of tracks and divisions. He was the Rookie-of-the-Year in the 2009 Lakeport / Ukiah Speedway Mini-Stock Challenge Series, 2010 NorCal Pro 4 Modifieds and 2012 Lakeport Speedway Modified Division. He has championships in the same Lakeport / Ukiah Speedway Mini-Stock Challenge Series, as well as in the 2012 & 2013 Extreme Asphalt Outlaw’s, 2014 Ukiah Speedway Open Outlaw Kart’s and more recently the 2018 and 2019 Meridian Speedway Big 5 Late Model Division.
Tellstrom has also found success in touring series competition, although he has rarely competed for championships. He has wins in the SPEARS Modified Series (4), North State Modified Series (4), International Outlaw Modified Series (3), Northwest Tour Truck Series (2) and USAC Radical Focus Midget Series. It was his success in Meridian Speedway’s Big 5 Super Late Model Series, however, that garnered his fellow competitor’s attention in the Super Late Model Division. It led to a pairing with John Newhouse in the Pro Truck Division, and eventually in a Super Late Model at the 2019 Open Comp at the Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
“I moved to Idaho in January of ’16”, Tellstrom recalled. “That year I started hanging around Meridian Speedway a bit. I was friends with Hannah Newhouse and eventually I met her dad John at the track, somewhere that year. He knew what I was doing running with the former Lucas Oil Modified Series (now SPEARS Modified Series). Then in 2018, I drove a Super Late for Lee Hackney, competing door to door with John all year. We had talked a few times about maybe going and running one of his Pro Trucks. Then last year, when John got hurt, he was ready to go racing but wasn’t cleared. So, he put me in his truck, and we won. Then we took his Super Late down to Vegas. John and I just really get along great and after a few races, with all of his guys. It was a-lot of fun working together. Enough so that he wanted to give it a go a few more times.
The initial pairing in the Pro Truck and the Super Late Model in Las Vegas, led to additional discussions about the 2020 racing season. Those discussions eventually led to his entry into the Idaho 200 at Stateline Speedway. A decision that was made only a few weeks ago.
“John and I had talked about running a few big races together, after we ran the Vegas Open Comp race”, Tellstrom recollected. “A few of the races we had planned got cancelled due to the virus. So, he came up to me a few weeks ago at the track, and said we’re going to the Stateline (Speedway) for the Idaho 200.”
Tellstrom knows the event will be a challenge, and that the competition will be tough. But there are several other challenges that the recent Boise, ID transplant will also be cognizant of.
“There’s a long list of challenges honestly”, Tellstrom began. “I’ve never been to Stateline for one. I’m hopping in a car I’ve only ran once and have to figure out what I need in only a few hours of practice. Then there is qualifying the same night. It’s going to be a really busy weekend but, I’m excited for the challenge.”
Tellstrom finds a challenge on race weekend’s to be part of the enjoyable experience at the track. Not only is the competition a challenge, the fight to get the car right, and make the decisions that give him a chance to win are also part of the equation for success.
“I enjoy being solely focused on the task at hand, and trying to put together the right pieces and decisions to give yourself a shot to win” Tellstrom explained. “Regardless on how the weekend goes, it’s refreshing to know you gave it your all. And at the same time, you are already making the list of do’s and don’ts for the next one.”
But once the race weekend at Stateline is completed, and the final checkered flag has been thrown, Tellstrom must face the reality of an end to his weekend’s adventure, whether good or bad. It is that end, and the ensuing trip home, that leaves Kyle with his most difficult moments of the weekend.
“When I get home from a race weekend I’m normally pretty wore out”, Tellstrom stated. “Somewhere halfway through the drive home, I snap out of replaying the race in my head, and realize we are heading back to reality and that really grinds my gears. Especially knowing that Monday is coming because I hate Monday’s.”
Tellstrom hopes for the $5,000 win in Saturday’s race. The now veteran driver knows with his current position in motorsports sales, with PFC Brakes, that the opportunities to get behind the wheel of a racecar will be somewhat more limited. With that in mind, it is all the more important for Tellstrom to park-it in Victory Lane this weekend. And if he does, he will be very thankful for the confidence that Newhouse has showed in Kyle.
‘I’d like to thank John for being brave enough to have me in his car”, Tellstrom jested.
The 21st Annual Idaho 200 weekend features two days of racing, from top drivers from all over the Northwest and beyond. Over 40 Pro Late Model drivers are expected at this year’s event. Qualifying and the Last Chance Qualifying race will be held on Friday. Also, the Pro Late Models will be joined by the Hobby Stocks and the Hobby Stock Shootout. The Park Model Homes Mini Stocks will also be racing in the Steinbach 77 Memorial Race. Saturday will include the Pro 4 Trucks and the Flattop Roofing Legends. The 21st Annual Idaho 200 will wrap up the weekend’s action on the ¼-mile paved oval.
Stay tuned to superlatemodel.com as we will have more from Stateline Speedway regarding the Idaho 200 as it becomes available. For more information on Stateline Speedway and the Idaho 200 visit raceidaho.com
Story courtesy of Kevin Peters
Photo courtesy of Horsepower Project by Michele Martin Photography