Steckly ends drought in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series at Vernon
7/14/2013 9:42:23 AM
VERNON, B.C. – Scott Steckly finally got back to Victory Lane.
The two-time champion of the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 broke a 17-race winless drought Saturday night in the A&W Cruisin' The Dub 300 at Motoplex Speedway & Event Park.
It was his 12th career win and came after back-to-back runner-up finishes in the last two races for the Milverton, Ontario driver. It was also his third win in the last four races at the Vernon half-mile tri-oval.
Although he pulled away from runner-up Jason Hathaway to win by a margin of 2.197 seconds, Steckly said the final 100 laps involved plenty of hard charging.
"I thought when we got tires with 130 to go that we were just going to ride for a bit, but there was no riding," Steckly said. "Everybody was going just as hard as they could. I passed Jason and started to ride for a bit and then he passed me back. So, it was time to go."
Steckly expressed a sense of relief at getting back to Victory Lane for the first time since September of 2011.
"We didn't win at all last season and you begin to wonder if you're ever going to win again," he said." To win here at Vernon is great. The fans here are amazing. We're on a roll. We had two second-place finishes the last two races, now a win. We just want to keep the momentum going and go to Saskatoon to win."
In a season in which many contenders have faltered, Steckly said it's important to not give up.
"It just proves to you that you've got to just keep going for wins and trying to win races, because anything can happen," he said. "You've just got to keep going hard every week and you can't get down. And that's what we did. I think we were 24th in points after two races. Now we're fourth or fifth. So, you've just got to keep on going."
Hathaway, meanwhile, hopes to build momentum from his second-place finish as the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series completes its West Coast swing on Wednesday, July 17, with the Velocity Prairie Thunder presented by Bayer CropScience at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
"We had a good run," Hathaway said of the Vernon event. "We led a bunch of laps. We made good adjustments. There hasn't been a race this year that we haven't made good adjustments. We can't wait to get to Saskatoon. It's always a good show and we run well there."
Jim White, driving a car out of Steckly's shop, had a career-best third-place finish before a hometown crowd.
"This is really important," White said. "These fans have been supporting us for so long. Without the fans, we wouldn't be doing what we're doing. The support we get is amazing."
Mark Dilley was fourth, while L.P. Dumoulin finished fifth to take over the points lead from D.J. Kennington, who was ninth.
Ron Beauchamp Jr. was sixth, followed by Cameron Hayley, Ryley Seibert, Kennington and rookie Alex Guenette. Hayley, a NASCAR K&N Pro Series West regular and native of Canada, was making his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series debut. Pole-winner J.R. Fitzpatrick led the first 39 laps and ran with the leaders early, but ended up finishing 39 laps back in 19th after encountering mechanical trouble.
The A&W Cruisin' The Dub 300 will air Sunday, July 21 at 1:30pm et/10:30am pt on TSN, and Saturday, Aug. 3 at 7pm et/4pm pt on RDS.
Dumoulin leads Kennington by two points in the championship standings – 191 to 189. Hathaway is third at 181, followed by Steckly at 177, Martin Roy at 171, Fitzpatrick at 169, Ryley Seibert at 160, Jason White at 153, Noel Dowler at 152 and Beauchamp at 152.