TORC: Keith Steele Bark River event summary

Steele Impresses with Top-5 in PRO-2 @ Bark River Madison, WI (July 14, 2010) - Keith Steele one of the most successful Sportsman Short-Course competitors in recent memory is on a mission. After winning back-to-back Championships, the...

Steele Impresses with Top-5 in PRO-2 @ Bark River

Madison, WI (July 14, 2010) - Keith Steele one of the most successful Sportsman Short-Course competitors in recent memory is on a mission. After winning back-to-back Championships, the Madison, Wisconsin native is taking on the PRO drivers with his under powered #29 Monster Energy Chevrolet. After a disappointing weekend at the high-horsepower venue in Crandon, Steele Off-Road Racing was optimistic for better finishes at the more technical Bark River International Raceway.

Keith Steele isn't known as "The Man in Black"just for his clean cut black racing attire and black Chevy race truck, but also for his no nonsense, tell it like it is approach to his racing. Keith isn't outspoken, just honest and straight forward. That attitude is exactly why he's taking on the established Superstars of the TORC PRO ranks.

"I've accomplished everything I can at the Sportsman level," states Keith Steele. "My goal is to race at the highest level, full time, and that's PRO-2. In the off-season our team worked diligently looking for a marketing partner that would get us to PRO-2. Unfortunately that didn't happen. Monster Energy made us an offer, but that left the title sponsor opportunity still available. Somehow we are here running with the PROs, but on a shoestring budget. There are certain tracks where horsepower is king and I have no shot at the win, but others like Oshkosh and Chicagoland, the opportunity to finish on the podium is a possibility. As season moves forward, Steele Off-Road Racing continues to pursue sponsorship opportunities and at the same time, continues to race for a podium finish."

Round 3 and 4 of the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL was held in Bark River, Michigan. The all-natural 1.4 mile layout is half high-speed superspeedway and half technical with sweeping turns one after another. In other words, only a portion of the track was to Keith's current strong suit.

Saturday Round 3 had the entire PRO-2 race field put some distance on the Monster Energy Kumho Tire Chevrolet right from the start. Keith pushed the truck as hard as he could, but finished the race at the tail end of the field.

Overnight the team performed the usual between race cleanup and prep work, but Keith tried a few adjustments to the chassis setup trying to get more speed out of his black Chevy Silverado.

Sunday's Round 4 action brought a smile on Keith's face. Almost immediately from the wave of the green flag, the #29 Chevy seemed to run a faster pace. The field still ran in front of the Monster Energy Chevy, but now Keith was racing with the pack.

At the halfway mandatory yellow flag lap, Keith really had worked his Wolverine powered Chevrolet into seventh place. Then will just over a lap to go, Dan Vanden Heuvel and Round 3 winner Mike Oberg tangled right in front of the #29 Chevy. Keith avoided the incident and picked up two more positions. When the checkered flag came out Keith Steele came home in fifth place.

"Today was almost as good as a win for our team," noted Keith Steele. "Our 2010 race budget is currently less than ten percent of the winner today. We passed a few trucks today and that's a major accomplishment considering we are at least 200 horsepower less than the guys on today's podium. Now I can't wait to get to Oshkosh. A couple of years ago I took this Sportsman truck to podium finish in PRO-2. It would really be cool to do it again."

Next Race: July 23-24,as the Traxxas TORC Series presented by AMSOIL heads to the Oshkosh Speedzone in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

-source: steeleoffroad.com

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Series USAC