Scott Steckly Racing
STECKLY FIRST EVER REPEAT WINNER AT MOTOPLEX
VERNON, BC – SUNDAY JULY 24, 2011: Scott Steckly – driver of the 22 Racing / Canadian Tire Dodge – made history on Saturday night when he became the first repeat winner of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series’ A&W Cruisin’ the Dub 300 at Vernon, BC’s Motoplex Speedway and Event Park.
With the victory – Steckly’s second of the season – the Milverton, Ontario leaves Vernon with a 97-point lead over reigning series champ DJ Kennington, after six races. Kennington finished second at Vernon, but secured bonus points for leading the most laps.
Steckly started on the pole after lapping the half-mile, banked speedway in 18.284 seconds (98.447 mph). Kennington started alongside of the Canadian Tire Dodge, following his qualifying lap of 18.386 seconds. Kennington jumped to the early lead, while Steckly remained in the top-five for the first 50 laps. By lap 63 of the 300-lap race, Scott was in second and challenging Kennington for the lead. The No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge driver took the top spot for a single circuit on lap 130, and then showed the way for an extended run (laps 138 to 158). Steckly pitted for tires on lap 180, while running fourth.
Back under green, he wasted little time getting back to the front. He passed Jim White for second on lap 198 and then took the top spot from Pete Shepherd on lap 204, in what would be the race’s final lead change. Steckly took the checkered flag 0.702 of a second in front of Kennington.
In victory lane, an elated Steckly said, “It definitely feels good.” The veteran then credited his crew for tweaking the car so it was strong at the end of the race. “The car was a handful in practice but we made a lot of changes to it throughout the day in practice and the race. You have to keep adjusting at this track because it changes so much. The goal is to get it good for the end, and that’s what we did. You have to have adjustability built into your car and know what the track’s going to do.”
Steckly continued, “My crew does an awesome job every week; I couldn’t do it without them, that’s for sure. They’re the best crew in the business. I also want to thank all my sponsors, including Canadian Tire, Exide, JumpStart, ERB, AW Millwrights, Castrol, Mopar, Dodge… and all you fans for coming out. It’s a great venue coming here every year. And thanks, too, to A&W for all their support of the series and this race.”
Describing the No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge team’s pit strategy, Steckly said, “We were going to wait to pit, but then we started getting all those cautions and we were down to 125 (laps) to go, so we decided to pit and try to get the lead as quick as we could – which we did – I think we got it in five or six laps.
And then I just took it real, real easy, saving the tires as much as I could, knowing that if there was a caution soon, the cars behind us would get their tires, too, and ours wouldn’t be worn out. That’s the way it worked out and that was real good for us. Guilio (Crew Chief Giulio Montanari) made a good call on the pit strategy and we ended up with the win.
After three consecutive runner-up results at Motoplex (in ’07, ’08 and ’09), Steckly’s wins in ’10 and ’11 underscore his mastery of the Vernon, BC speedway. Finishing behind Steckly and Kennington, at Vernon, were Kerry Micks, Ron Beauchamp Jr. and Mark Dilley.
The A&W Cruisin’ The Dub 300 will be telecast on TSN at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, July 30. The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series kicks off the second half of its 12-race season on Wednesday, July 27 at Saskatoon’s Auto Clearing Motor Speedway.