8 PIR WINS PUTS STEELE AT HEAD OF "COPPER WORLD" CLASS Dave Steele has more wins than any other driver in USAC competition at Phoenix International Raceway. Next Thursday he'll try to add to his eight previous victories on the...
8 PIR WINS PUTS STEELE AT HEAD OF "COPPER WORLD" CLASS
Dave Steele has more wins than any other driver in USAC competition at Phoenix International Raceway. Next Thursday he'll try to add to his eight previous victories on the mile paved oval when he competes in both ends of the 33rd "Copper World Classic" presented by Fast Signs.
Steele, of Tampa, Fla., owns five Silver Crown and three Midget trophies and amazingly has swept eight of the last 12 USAC races at PIR, including last year's 25-mile Midget race! He also owns both 1-lap track qualifying records! He set both records in 2004, at 138.201 mph in the Midgets and 142.197 mph in the Silver Crown cars.
He'll pilot car #91 in both races, his Toyota/Oakley Beast Pink Toyota Midget entered by Nine Racing of Laguna Beach, Calif. and his West Coast Roofing/Classic Corvettes Beast/Speedway Engines Silver Crown car entered by Bruce Nicholas of Naples, Fla. His Midget team owns 132 USAC wins, more than anyone else in club history.
"I guess you could call me one of the oldtimers," Dave says, explaining why he's so proficient at PIR. "I've raced there for 15 years now and it seems like I always have the best equipment, so that helps. We just finished the Silver Crown car so this will be the first outing and we're looking forward to that." Steele's PIR experience also includes the 1998 Indy Racing League event and a practice session in a NASCAR Nationwide car a few years ago.
Steele has been so dominant at PIR that only three other drivers have scored USAC wins at the track in the last six years! Cameron Dodson won last year's Silver Crown race, while J.J. Yeley won the 2004 and 2005 Midget races and Aaron Pollock won the 2003 Midget feature. Steele won five straight Silver Crown races between 2002 and 2006!
A.J. Foyt ranks second on PIR's all-time USAC win list, with five victories, so Steele could double that total with a "sweep" of next week's races!
Steele's only USAC Midget appearance this season resulted in a 16th-place finish at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis, Ind. His last Silver Crown start produced a 12th-place finish at Kansas Speedway in 2006. His last Silver Crown win came in 2006 at Iowa Speedway and his last Midget win found him in victory lane at last year's "Copper World Classic."
Despite curtailing his racing schedule in recent years to focus more on his parts business, Steele Performance Parts, Dave has posted a half-dozen 2008 wins in the TBARA (Tampa Bay Auto Racing Association) Sprint Cars, including a win last weekend at DeSoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.
He owns a total of 59 USAC National wins: 16 in Silver Crown, 17 in Midgets and 26 in Sprints. In 2004 and 2005 he won USAC's coveted Silver Crown title in cars fielded by NASCAR star Tony Stewart and long-time USAC car owner and builder Bob East.
The "Copper World Classic" Silver Crown race is 100 miles, while the Midget race is 25.