Barrie round one race report

CASCAR Super Series veteran Scott Steckly makes first career trip to victory lane with a win at Barrie Speedway TORONTO, ON -- It was a day of happy 'firsts' for CASCAR racer Scott Steckly. The veteran stock car driver won his first-ever Super...

CASCAR Super Series veteran Scott Steckly makes first career trip to victory lane with a win at Barrie Speedway

TORONTO, ON -- It was a day of happy 'firsts' for CASCAR racer Scott Steckly. The veteran stock car driver won his first-ever Super Series race, in his inaugural outing in his new Dodge Charger. The Milverton, ON resident lined up 10th in the field of 22 who took the green flag in Monday's GO-RACING.CA 300 at Barrie Speedway, and employed clever pit strategy and superb driving to break through to victory lane.

After running in ninth-place for the first third of the season-opening event, Steckly pitted relatively early for two tires and fuel during the race's second of 11 cautions, on lap 75. The move paid off as it left him well-positioned when the remainder of the front-runners eventually made their stops, with just over 100 laps remaining.

By the time everyone had pitted, Steckly was in front of the field, with a multi-car buffer zone of slower cars separating him from the pack of contenders. With 70 laps to go, Steckly enjoyed a healthy lead over Dodge Charger drivers Mark Dilley (Dodge-sponsored) and DJ Kennington (Castrol).

Misfortune struck for Dilley and Kennington, however, as both saw top-three finishes slip away in the closing laps. Kennington was sent spinning after contact with another racer with just over 20 laps remaining, while Dilley saw second-place disappear on a lap 247 restart when he and several others slid on fluid and parts from a car that had lost its axel assembly.

Dilley's bad luck cleared the way for Fitzpatrick Motorsports teammates Don Thomson Jr. and J.R. Fitzpatrick to slip into second and third, respectively, behind Steckly. At the checkered flag, Steckly finished .326 seconds ahead of the polesitter Thomson, with Fitzpatrick close behind. Brantford, ON racer Doug Brown recorded his best-ever Super Series finish when he came home in fourth, while Dilley recovered from his spin to take fifth.

In victory lane, Steckly was ecstatic to have registered his first victory in eight years on Canada's top racing tour. "It's just awesome. I want to thank everyone on the crew who helped us out, plus Dodge and MOPAR. I want to thank ERB Transport, too. The car was just hooked up. We made a lot of adjustments after the 50 lap heat race [on Saturday] and we planned to pit early and get track position. We knew the car would be there to the end."

For his part, Thomson (Home Hardware Chevy) was pleased to finish second, although he was upset at having hit fluid during the late-race restart, which resulted in Dilley's spin. J.R. Fitzpatrick's first outing for his new sponsor, Milwaukee Tools, resulted in a podium position.

Following the first race event of the season, which awarded points for qualifying, the heat races and the feature event, Don Thomson leads the standings in his quest for a sixth-consecutive CASCAR Super Series National Championship. The CASCAR Super Series resumes June 10 at Montreal's Autodrome St-Eustache.

<pre> SUPER SERIES POINT STANDINGS: Top 15 after 1 event. Unofficial as of May 22, 2006:

1.   4  Don Thomson Jr.         249
2.   22 Scott Steckly           238
3.   10 Doug Brown              230
4.   84 J.R. Fitzpatrick        228
5.   02 Kerry Micks             223
6.   9  Mark Dilley             218
7.   19 Brad Graham             214
8.   39 Dave Whitlock           208
8.   17 DJ Kennington           208
10.  1  Peter Gibbons           204
11.  88 Dave Jacombs            201
12.  60 Ron Beauchamp Jr.       200
13.  14 John Fitzpatrick        197
14.  23 Jeff Lapcevich          194
15.  11 Ron VanEs               189

-cascar-

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Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers John Fitzpatrick , Dave Jacombs , Peter Gibbons , Dave Whitlock , Mark Dilley , Ron Beauchamp Jr. , Brad Graham , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , Doug Brown , Jeff Lapcevich , J.R. Fitzpatrick