Cayuga: Round nine preview

* Scott Steckly Is In Right Frame Of Mind * GP3R 100 Post-Race Notes * Only Ovals Left On The Schedule DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2007) -- Every season in every racing series there are one or two drivers who, at the end of the year, look...

* Scott Steckly Is In Right Frame Of Mind
* GP3R 100 Post-Race Notes
* Only Ovals Left On The Schedule

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Aug. 28, 2007) -- Every season in every racing series there are one or two drivers who, at the end of the year, look back and wonder about what could have been. They bring competitive equipment week in and week out. They qualify well. They run with the leaders or are the leader come race time, but for one reason or another, something jumps up and bites them and ends their day in disappointment.

Scott Steckly (No. 22 Leafs TV/Erb Group Dodge Charger) most certainly could be a member of that club this season in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio. In the eight races this season, Steckly has an average starting position of 5.75. In fact, he has started inside the top 10 at each race. His average finishing position, though, drops to 12.5. He has two top-fives to go along with just four top 10s, but all of those have come in the last five races.

It would be easy for Steckly, racing out of Milverton, Ontario, to point fingers of blame at others or to complain about his luck, or lack thereof, but that is not at all where his mind is.

"I prefer to look at it from the standpoint that we have taken a good car to every race this season, but for some reason we didn't get the finish we should have or could have," said Steckly. "We'll just keep doing what we've been doing and know the breaks will eventually come."

That is a difficult mental state to reach.

"Sure, it's frustrating, but there is nothing we can do about it now," he said. "We're obviously doing something right and not all of the bad luck is of someone else's doing. We've got a stake in this, too."

It is that attitude which will serve Steckly well over the final four events of the 2007 season.

He currently holds the 10th slot in the championship point standings, 246 points off the pace of current leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford). More manageably, though, he is just 85 points behind seventh-ranked Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge).

While it can be difficult to make up huge chunks of ground in the point standings as the season progresses to its later stages, Steckly is not at all consumed with scoreboard watching at this juncture.

"We just want to go out and finish the season strong. We definitely want to pick up a win," said Steckly. "We'll go out and perform like we have all season and get a break or two, that I'd like to think we have coming to us, then the points will take care of themselves."

The Canadian Tires Series is heading into the last third of the season with four races spanning the first four weekends of September. All four will come on oval tracks. The first of these final four events is the Subway 200 presented by Sicards Holiday Campers at Cayuga Speedway Park on Saturday, Sept. 1. This is the series' second visit to Cayuga -- the track was the site of the Canadian Tire Series' inaugural event on May 26, which was won by Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet).

Steckly's first response when asked his opinion on the 5/8-mile oval, located in Nelles Corners, southwest of Hamilton, Ontario, was more than a little measured.

"I don't mind it too much," he stated, but he quickly qualified that statement.

"I shouldn't really put it that way. I didn't used to like racing there a whole lot, but last May, we liked it a lot," he said. "We ran pretty well and I think we have figured out a pretty good set up. I'm actually looking forward to it. It'll be another great race."

To help along the change of fortune, Steckly's No. 22 Dodge will have a different look to it for three of the final four races this season.

"For the three Ontario races (Cayuga, Barrie Speedway and Kawartha Speedway), we've signed Leafs TV as a primary sponsor," Steckly said. "I think this is something we may be able to build upon for the future. Like I said before, if we can continue to bring a good car and catch a break, then I know we'll be able to run well for them."

Leafs TV is a channel available within the footprint of the National Hockey League's Toronto Maple Leafs that carries live games and other team-related programming.

GP3R 100 Post-Race Notes

* Two-timers ... With his GP3R 100 win at the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres; Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) became the third two-time winner this season in the Canadian Tire Series. He joins J.R. Fitzpatrick (No. 84 Milwaukee Electric Tools Chevrolet) and Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet).

* Chevy still leads the way ... Ford picked up its third win of the season, but Chevrolet still leads the Canadian Tire Series manufacturers' standings with four victories in eight races. In the point standings, Chevy has 58 followed by Ford's 49. Dodge is just off the pace at 45, while Pontiac has a total of 24 points. For each event, the winning car's manufacturer receives nine points. The next-highest finishing maker gets six points and the third and fourth-place manufacturers are awarded four and three points, respectively.

* Mobil 1 Oil "Command Performance of the Race" Award ... As a reward for his NASCAR Canadian Tire Series victory in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, Micks collects $1,500 from Mobil 1 as a reward for his effort.

* Mopar Fast Five ... This program awards the top-five finishing Dodges in each race. In this race, the Dodge of Pierre Bourque (No. 29 Driving.ca/Conservative Party of Canada Dodge) was the top finisher and was awarded $2,000 for his seventh-place showing. Scott Steckly (No. 22 Erb Group Dodge Charger) finished 8th overall, but was the second-highest finishing Dodge which earned him $1,250. Ranked third among the Dodge entrants was Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Super 8 Dodge Charger), who logged a ninth-place finish. The fourth and fifth-highest finishing Dodges were those of Brad Graham (No. 19 Full Throttle Energy Drink/Challenger Freight Dodge Charger) and D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/Krispy Kreme Dodge Charger). They finished 11th and 12th, respectively.

* Lap Report ... All told in 2007, the Canadian Tire Series has completed 1,156 laps in eight races. No driver has completed all of them, but championship point standings leader Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) has come awfully close with 1,155. Peter Gibbons (No. 1 Canadian Tire/Mastercraft Chevrolet) has lost just three laps this season by completing a total of 1,153. Thomson has led the most laps with 295 followed by Kennington at 166 and Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries Dodge) with 158.

* Ranger increases lead ... With another second-place effort, his third on the season, Ranger (1,292) stretched out his lead in the championship point standings to 91 points over Thomson (1,201). Fitzpatrick holds the third slot with 1,190 and is followed closely by Micks (1,185) and Kennington (1,180).

Subway 200 NEWS & NOTES

* The race ... This event is the ninth race for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio in 2007. It is the second of two visits to Cayuga Speedway Park this season.

* The track ... This 5/8-mile oval track is one of Canada's premier racing facilities, and proudly earned its nickname as "The Charlotte of the North" with door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper action. It offers both the speed of a superspeedway and the tight action of a short track. Over the years, Cayuga has challenged some of NASCAR's legendary drivers in battles against Canada's top stars. Dale Earnhardt Sr., Rusty Wallace, Darrell Waltrip, Jack Hollis, Junior Hanley, and Don Biederman are just but a few of the names. Canada's largest oval facility also has hosted current NASCAR stars, Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart and Canadian Ron Fellows.

* Remembering yesterday, looking forward to tomorrow ... That is the theme for this Saturday's race. On hand to remember yesterday will be one of NASCAR's all-time greats, Bobby Allison, who also has competed on the Cayuga track. He is a former champion of the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and was named in 1998 as one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers. The three-time Daytona 500 winner also was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1993.

* Ticket information ... Information for the Subway 200 presented by Sicards Holiday Campers can be obtained by calling the track at 1-866-670-1958 or by logging onto www.cayugaspeedwaypark.com. Free weekend camping is available compliments of Sicards.

Fast Facts

What: Subway 200 presented by Sicards Holiday Campers, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Race # 9.

Where: Cayuga Speedway Park, Nelles Corners, Ontario.
When: 8:05 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 1.

Track layout: 5/8-Mile Oval.
Distance: 200 Laps, 125 miles.

Posted Awards: $70,434 CAD

2006 winner: Inaugural event.
2006 polesitter: Inaugural event.

Records: Qualifying: D.J. Kennington, May 26, 2007, 108.251 mph, 20.785 sec.; Race: Don Thomson Jr., May 26, 2007, 54.381 mph, 2 hr 17 min 55 sec.

Pre-race schedule: Practice, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Qualifying, 4:30 p.m. Note: All times subject to change.

NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Top 10: 1. Andrew Ranger 1292; 2. Don Thomson Jr. 1201; 3. J.R. Fitzpatrick 1190; 4. Kerry Micks 1185; 5. D.J. Kennington 1180; 6. Peter Gibbons 1157; 7. Mark Dilley 1129; 8. Jason Hathaway 1075; 9. Derek Lynch 1057; 10. Scott Steckly 1046.

-credit: nascar

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About this article
Series NASCAR Canada
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Matt Kenseth , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Ron Fellows , Peter Gibbons , D.J. Kennington , Mark Dilley , Brad Graham , Kerry Micks , Don Thomson Jr. , Scott Steckly , Bobby Allison , Andrew Ranger , Pierre Bourque , J.R. Fitzpatrick , Jason Hathaway , Derek Lynch