Scott Steckly off to a strong start in CASCAR Super Series. London, ON (May 19, 2002) - Thousands of loyal race fans braved cold temperatures at Delaware Speedway Park today to witness the start of the CASCAR Super Series season at the Mopar ...
Scott Steckly off to a strong start in CASCAR Super Series.
London, ON (May 19, 2002) - Thousands of loyal race fans braved cold temperatures at Delaware Speedway Park today to witness the start of the CASCAR Super Series season at the Mopar 250.
Milverton, Ontario's Scott Steckly proved this could be his breakthrough year with a 7th place finish in his #22 ERB Group, AW Millwrights, Jutzi Race Fuels Pontiac.
Steckly spent most of the practise sessions near the top of the time sheets and was looking forward to improving on his impressive performance here in last fall's Great Canadian 300 where he finished 3rd to Peter Gibbons and DJ Kennington.
For time trials, Steckly and crew chief Ken Gropp made a decision to free the car up in search of a good lap but it got so cold that the car was very loose and he could only manage a best time of 20.017 seconds for an average speed of 89.924. That lap would have him start the Sunday feature in 17th position.
"I don't think our time trials speed and starting position are reflective of how good our car really is here," said Steckly following the two lap run. "We're in good shape for the race tomorrow." he added.
At the drop of the green flag Scott showed his patience by slowly moving up the running order and keeping his car in good shape. There were so many cautions (16 for 91 laps) it made it difficult make a charge but Steckly managed to maneuver his way into the 4th position at just past the 100 lap mark. Using a different pit strategy than the leaders, Steckly would inherit the lead on lap 117 and stay there until lap 125, gaining valuable points toward the championship.
The race started to get ugly by the time lap 190 arrived. Steckly got caught up in a multi-car wreck started by the leaders and he hit the wall head on in corner one. There was significant body damage to the ERB Pontiac and Steckly's crew, under the direction of crew chief Ken Gropp, did a masterful job patching it up on several pit stops and keeping Scott on the lead lap and in contention. It was also discovered that the wreck had snapped the front sway bar, which needed to be held up out of the way. The team was unsure how this would affect the handling and whether or not Scott would be able to maintain his position.
In the closing laps Steckly had to fight an ill handling racecar and body parts flying as well as a ferocious battle with DJ Kennington. His determination behind the wheel was rewarded with a solid 7th place finish at the chequered flag.
Scott and team will be working late nights to repair the 22 Pontiac to battle it out with the rest of CASCAR's stars at Peterborough Speedway Saturday, May 25
Finishing Order: 1. Robbie Thompson 2. Pete Vanderwyst 3. Mark Dilley 4. Dave Whitlock 5. Mike Alguire 7. Scott Steckly
Point Standings: 1. Robbie Thompson (166) 2. Pete Vanderwyst (159) 3. DJ Kennington (153) 4. Mark Dilley (152) 5. Mike Alguire (148) 5. Dave Whitlock (148) 7. Scott Steckly (142)