Pikes Peak Pole Report

Steele's Comeback Continues 3-time Defending Champ Takes ARCA Stock Car Pole Pikes Peak International Raceway ROCKY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC July 10, 1998 FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Tim Steele's miraculous comeback continued Friday when he led qualifying...

Steele's Comeback Continues 3-time Defending Champ Takes ARCA Stock Car Pole

Pikes Peak International Raceway ROCKY MOUNTAIN CLASSIC July 10, 1998

FOUNTAIN, Colo. - Tim Steele's miraculous comeback continued Friday when he led qualifying in the Bondo/Mar-Hyde ARCA stock car race in the Rocky Mountain Classic at Pikes Peak International Raceway near Colorado Springs.

Steele, the three-time defending ARCA series champion, lapped the one-mile banked oval in 27.07 seconds at an average speed of 132.988 mph. Bill Baird of Sturgis, Ky., was second after clocking a lap of 27.287 seconds.

"I thought we might be able to go a little bit faster but I guess we went fast enough," said Steele, of Coopersville, Mich. "We unloaded a good car and the fastest car."

Qualifying begins Saturday for the USAC Midget and Silver Crown series, and the Star Formula Mazda circuit. The Formula Mazda championship race is Saturday while the other three championship races are Sunday.

Steele would have been smiling even if he hadn't put his HS Die-Softech Ford Taurus on the pole.

He's just happy to be racing again.

Last November he crashed hard into the wall at the Atlanta Motor Speedway while testing a NASCAR Winston Cup car for Bud Moore. After hitting the wall on the driver's side Steele broke ribs, crushed an ankle and suffered a severe head injury. "You could stick your fingers through my helmet," he said.

His first race back was three weeks ago at Pocono Raceway and he won.

"I had a bunch of doctors telling me to find another career," he said. "Fortunately I don't remember much of that stuff. It's been a bump in the road, but I think I'm more determined now than I ever was. It goes to show you shouldn't give up on your dreams."

NOTES: Frank Kimmel, the series points leaders, qualified third with a time of 27.391 seconds at 131.43 mph ... Mike Snow of Littleton, Colo., is seventh with a time of 27.949 ... Colorado Spring's is Ricky Logan is 16th at 28.435 while neighbor Bob Howard is 17th at 28.803 ... This is ARCA's 1,000th race since the Automobile Racing Club of America was started in 1953.

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Series ARCA
Drivers Frank Kimmel , Tim Steele , Bill Baird