Steele returns to MIS for test, aims to rebuild team. Three-time ARCA winner at MIS among 10 drivers testing. BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Tim Steele came to Michigan International Speedway on Wednesday with a mission: to prove there is not an"I" in the ...
Steele returns to MIS for test, aims to rebuild team. Three-time ARCA winner at MIS among 10 drivers testing.
BROOKLYN, Mich.-- Tim Steele came to Michigan International Speedway on Wednesday with a mission: to prove there is not an"I" in the word"team".
Steele, a three-time ARCA RE/MAX Series winner at MIS, participated in an open ARCA test on Wednesday and turned in the second-fastest time of the day. His unofficial speed of 178.616 mph was just shy of Dutch-born driver Michael Vergers' top speed of 179.238 mph. In all, 10 drivers took laps under sunny but windy conditions in preparation for the Flagstar 200 RE/MAX Series race on Saturday, June 15. Children 12 and under are free for the race.
Steele, who has nine top-10 finishes in his 10 RE/MAX Series starts at MIS, has made just two starts this year. He started sixth but finished 32nd after having engine trouble in the second race of the season and followed that up three races later with a 38th-place finish because of an accident after three laps. He started eighth in that race.
Steele, of Coopersville, Mich., had planned to run a limited schedule this year as owner and driver of the HS Die Ford but never imagined the trouble he would have on the track. Now, he's looking toward the Flagstar 200 at MIS to help boost his season.
"Right now, we're in the process of building things back to where we can go and win 50 percent of the ARCA races we're in," Steele said."It's the challenge of getting the team back to that form, and I've looked up the word' team' in the dictionary and found five definitions. Not one of them had an' I' in it."
Steele's life as a driver changed dramatically after a violent crash at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Nov. 5, 1997, that left a once-promising career questionable. Steele had plans to run a NASCAR Winston Cup Series car co-owned by Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, but the accident changed that. During his recovery, Steele has battled doubters and financial difficulties to remain the all-time leading superspeedway driver in the 50-year history of ARCA.
"I do this because it's what I want to and love to do," Steele said about racing."I'm fortunate to do something I want to do, I like doing, enjoy doing and also make a living doing it. I can look myself in the mirror these days and be happy with what I see."
Steele was ninth in last year's Flagstar 200 and third in the July RE/MAX Series event at MIS last year, an event he led with 20 laps left. Steele said MIS remains a special place for him, the site of victories in 1996, 1997 and 2000.
"When I come to MIS, I still consider it my home track," Steele said.
For ticket information, contact the ticket office at (800) 354-1010 or visit www.MISpeedway.com.
Test times: <pre> Driver Time Speed Michael Vergers 40.17 179.238 Tim Steele 40.31 178.616 Dan Shaver 41.02 175.524 Bobby Gerhart 41.24 174.588 Sean Stafford 41.49 173.536 A.J. Henriksen 41.49 173.536 Shelby Howard 41.50 173.494 Matt Hagans 41.50 173.494 Marty Butkovich 43.10 167.053 Vern Slagh 48.82 147.238