Former series champion Steckly hungry for road win
5/13/2013 4:54:05 PM
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - It has been right there, but Scott Steckly has not been able to grasp the brass ring on a road course.
A great deal of pride can be taken in the numbers considering the competition. In 27 career NASCAR Canadian Tire Series road course starts, the Milverton, Ontario driver has recorded 17 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes which includes five second-place efforts. While proud of his road-racing résumé, it just adds to Steckly's hunger.
"We've done pretty well overall which is good for points," said Steckly. "We're all out here to win races, though."
Winning is an experience the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Johnsonville Dodge team has. With 11 career wins Steckly has the third-highest total in series history behind D.J. Kennington (18) and Andrew Ranger (16). The three drivers have combined to claim all six series titles. Ranger and J.R. Fitzpatrick have left the pickings slim on road courses by combining to win 20 of the 27 events since the series' inception in 2007.
Despite finishing fourth in the final point standings last season, it was not a typical Steckly campaign. It was his first winless season since before the NASCAR era in Canada and, yes, there was one that got away. Last July in Edmonton, Alberta, Steckly was blowing everyone away with leads of over 10 seconds on the 2.256-mile road course. However, a pair of late-race cautions tightened the field. On the second restart Steckly and Fitzpatrick got tangled up racing for the lead opening the door for Kennington to slide through the gap and on to victory.
"We had that one," said Steckly after the race. "Winning a road course race is a goal of ours and it should have been accomplished today."
Over the years Steckly has been solid at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, the site of this year's season opener. In six starts, Steckly has four top fives with a career-best finish of third coming last season which was one of his two starts from the pole position on the 2.459-mile road course. His qualifying run last May established a new track record for the series.
"We've been decent there," he said. "If there is a track that I'd like to get our first road win at; it's Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. It would be a great fit with Canadian Tire on our car."
That wouldn't be the only potential benefit for Steckly, who began his championship-winning campaigns in 2008 and 2011 with victories in the season opener.