SCOTT STECKLY HONORED AS 2008 CHAMPION AT NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES AWARDS CEREMONY TORONTO (October 25, 2008) -- The quest that began in May with a win in the season opener came to a close for Scott Steckly Saturday night as he was honored...
SCOTT STECKLY HONORED AS 2008 CHAMPION AT NASCAR CANADIAN TIRE SERIES AWARDS CEREMONY
TORONTO (October 25, 2008) -- The quest that began in May with a win in the season opener came to a close for Scott Steckly Saturday night as he was honored as the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by SIRIUS Satellite Radio champion.
Steckly, the driver of the No. 22 Tow Truck in a Box/Erb Group Dodge, was recognized at the season-ending awards banquet held at the Hilton Suites Toronto/Markham Conference Centre.
Dominating at times this season, Steckly, 36, held off a hard-charging Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet) to win the title by a margin of just 24 points. In doing so, he joins Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) as champions in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series' two years.
Steckly, racing out of Milverton, Ontario, won a series-record four races in 2008. He also posted nine top-five finishes. He took control of the point standings after winning that season-opening race at Cayuga Motor Speedway. It was a lead that he would never relinquish over the 13-race schedule that covered Canada from British Columbia to Nova Scotia. He is other wins came at Barrie Speedway (twice) and Autodrome St. Eustache. Also by winning the championship, Steckly earned a protected starting position in January's NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown to be held at California's Toyota Speedway at Irwindale.
So this night belonged to Steckly and his entire team as they officially accepted the trophy while the driver collected the coveted NASCAR championship ring.
"The 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series season has been unbelievable for the 22 Racing team," said Steckly. "I owe so much to all the sponsors. They make everything possible. To race at this level and with other drivers who are such strong competitors is something I never thought I would get the chance to do. Thank you to all of our competitors who worked with us and helped us achieve this championship."
Steckly's wife, Penny, accepted the Championship Owner Award on behalf of the owner/driver while Greg Gibson was on hand to be honored as the Champion Crew Chief. Tow Truck in a Box CEO Michael Manno accepted the Champion Sponsor Award.
Thomson was honored as the runner-up along with DJ Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/NPP Dodge), who finished third in the championship points standings. Finishing fourth and fifth, respectively, were Ranger and Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford).
In addition to recognizing the achievements of the top-20 drivers and top-10 car owners, several other special awards were presented to deserving winners.
The first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by SIRIUS Satellite Radio Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Jason White (No. 21 A&W/Zimmer-Wheaton GMC Chevrolet). He won a spirited battle for the honors with Anthony Simone (No. 95 Crown Modular Chevrolet) and Alex Tagliani (No. 7 Wal-Mart/Ubisoft Ford).
Kennington collected the year-end POWERade Power Move of the Race Award and a check for $5,000 by virtue of winning that award -- given to the driver who improves his position the most over the course of the race -- the most times during the season.
For winning a series-best four races, Steckly also picked up the famed crystal Pegasus trophy and a check for $5,000 for being the Mobil 1 Command Driver of the Year.
Thomson earned the Tow Truck in a Box Free Pass Award, new to the lineup in 2008. This award is given to the driver who receives a free pass during the race and has the best overall finishing position. He also collected the 2008 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Pole Award for winning an amazing seven poles, a series record.
The top-five finishing Dodge teams were honored as part of the Mopar Fast Five program and the Mopar Cup was awarded to the top-finishing Dodge team. Ranked from fifth to second were Brad Graham (No. 19 Full Throttle Energy Drink/Logel's Auto Part/Challenger Motor Freight Dodge), Jason Hathaway (No. 3 Snap-on Tools/Super 8 Dodge), Mark Dilley (No. 9 Dodge/Leland Industries/Maple Lodge Farms Dodge) and Kennington. Steckly claimed the top prize, the Mopar Cup and $5,000.
White was tabbed for the Sportsmanship Award. The significance of this honor is that it was voted on by all the series drivers.
Hathaway got the nod from series officials for the Driver Achievement Award not only for his improved performance over last season, but over the course of this season, as well.
Kennington earned the series' Most Popular Driver Award. For the first time, balloting for the Most Popular Driver Award was conducted online -- on www.nascar.com and the NASCAR Home Tracks website -- resulting in thousands of votes being cast by NASCAR Canadian Tire Series fans for their favorite driver.
It was truly a special night for NASCAR Canadian Tire Series drivers, teams, car owners, sponsors, officials and all their families. The event was emceed by Vic Rauter from TSN, Canada's home for NASCAR.