Kyle Larson: It was "an honor" to have competed with Dave Steele

Kyle Larson, who also came from open-wheel roots, said it was “an honor” to have had the chance to compete as a teammate once with the late Dave Steele.

Kyle Larson: It was "an honor" to have competed with Dave Steele
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, applies the winners sticker in victory lane with his son, Owen, after his win
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Pavement master Dave Steele
Race winner Dave Steele

Steele, 42, a two-time USAC Silver Crown Series champion who also competed in the IndyCar Series and NASCAR, died Saturday night from injuries sustained in an accident while competing at Desoto Speedway in Bradenton, Fla.

“I grew up watching like “Thursday Night Thunder,” stuff like that. Dave Steele was always the man when it came to pavement racing. You look at him and Bobby Santos – they’re the two pavement specialists that were the best,” Larson said Sunday night after winning the Auto Club 400 Cup series race.

“I didn’t know him personally very well, but I was lucky enough to be teammates with him one time at New Smyrna when I ran a USAC midget race there. I just remember it being like an honor to be a teammate with him that night because he was so good at pavement racing.”

Steele made three starts in the IndyCar Series – one with Helmut Marko and two with Panther Racing – in 1998, but failed to finish a race. He made a pair of starts in what is now the Xfinity Series in 2000 with owner Felix Sabates, with a best finish of 23rd at Daytona.

“It’s definitely a tragedy. You know, he’s probably not very well-known, but to the open-wheel community, he’s one of the greatest ever USAC racers,” Larson said.

“I feel terrible for his family and all of the racing community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. Yeah, it just sucks.”

Steele, an Indianapolis native who most recently lived in Tampa, Fla., is survived by his wife, Lynn Bunn Steele, and three young children.

 

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Series NASCAR Cup
Event Fontana
Location Auto Club Speedway
Drivers Kyle Larson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Author Jim Utter
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