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 Columns & Editorials

June 4, 2001

Watching Dreams Come True

Last night and a few weeks ago, I had the priviledge of watching two young men open the door to their futures. One is 21 years old, the other is 17. One has a extensive background in racing, the other had none really. But both are determined and both have shared one heck of a teacher in Pete Orr.

If you were around New Smyrna Speedway back in the early 90's, you will recall a race team called "Horsen Around". This was the #30 of Pete Orr and the #36 of David Russell. What a team they made and still to this day, people remember their achievements. Pete went on to drive for Busch Grand National for a year and I was also priviledged to see some of those races.

Back then, B.J. McLeod would have been about my Alex's age which is 8 and Travis Kittleson would have been between 12 and 13. B.J. was running in go-karts and Travis was just dreaming.

Some kids only dream their dreams and others get to live their dreams. Travis got his dream for his high school graduation present and B.J. was born ready to race. Both of these very fine young men have families that back them 100% and you will never see them at a track without that support.

Although Travis Kittleson was not in the ASA race from Nashville, he had his car there and was proudly displaying another Missing Child on it's hood. If you have ever met Travis, you would know that he really loves kids and they love him. He goes out of his way for his smaller fans by attending their birthday parties and taking them out for rides in a Gator when it is pouring down rain for their birthday.

B.J. is also a kid pleaser even when he was a kid himself. B.J. has a smile that beams and a giving heart to go along with that smile. He may get alittle upset when things aren't just right but that seems to pass quickly. And he definitely has had to be able to handle being around his peers since he seems to always be the youngest driver in the group.

But Travis and B.J. both have a dream, a dream to reach the top and be a Winston Cup driver. Last night, B.J. took his first step towards that goal in driving the #22 Hertzog Motorsports ASA car. Starting 21st, he did well until spinning around and being sent to the end of the lead lap where he worked his way back to a 15th place finish. Two weeks before, Travis Kittleson had the lead at Concord, going to second, running out of gas and still finishing 8th. Not bad for a rookie.

Travis Kittleson started his first ASA race with Pete Orr on the head set as his Crew Chief at St. Augustine Speedway in Febuary. Last night, B.J. McLeod made his second ASA race, he was 13 for the first, with Pete Orr on the headset as his Crew Chief. Strange but true, Pete Orr guided both young men. Pete Orr helped each of them take one more step forward to their dreams.

There is an old song called "Dream Weaver". Now whenever I hear that song, I will think of Pete Orr and the magic in his experience to weave the dreams together of some very fine young men. Watching dreams become reality is something we rarely see, Pete Orr has seen it twice.

Jane Smith

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