Steckly setting pattern in NASCAR Canadian Tire series

St. Eustache, Que. – In front of a capacity crowd at Autodrome St. Eustache, Scott Steckly (No. 22 Tow Truck in a Box/Erb Group Dodge) won the Kodak 250. It was the first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Sirius Satellite Radio event at the track and Steckly took advantage of the excitement to win for the second week in a row and for the third time in four races this year.

With former Hamilton resident Don Thomson Jr. (No. 4 Home Hardware Chevrolet) leading on lap 188 his Chevy suffered an electrical malfunction and stopped on the track and handed Steckly the lead. He took the ball and ran the rest of the way eventually beating D.J. Kennington (No. 17 Castrol/NPP Dodge) to the line by 2.531 seconds.

Hamilton’s Jim Lapcevich and his Chevy finished 11th after starting from the No. 20 position. Brantford’s Doug Brown crossed the finish line in 10th after starting from pole position 14. Cambridge’s J.R. Fitzpatrick was fifth. He had the No.8 starting position.

Dating back to last season, Steckly, from Milverton, Ont., has won four of the last five Canadian Tire Series events. He cites nothing new in the program just a run of luck that he would like to continue as long as possible.

“We’re not doing anything different than we’ve ever done,” said the victor. “Just running the same program and not trying to get fancy with anything. Other guys are just as fast. I have to say that we’ve been very fortunate and I’ll take it.”

Runner-up Kennington finished second to Steckly a week ago at Barrie Speedway.

“I’m really starting not to like him,” joked Kennington. “He’s got a great car right now and there was little I could do about it.”

Kerry Micks (No. 02 Beyond Digital Imaging Ford) finished third and feels it sets the tone for the heart of the schedule coming up this month and next.

“We came here wanting to finish on the podium and we did,” said Micks. “This is where we want to start making a move and carry some momentum for the next several races.”

Andrew Ranger (No. 27 Wal-Mart/Tide Ford) finished fourth.

There were seven lead changes in the race involving six drivers and the pace was slowed 11 times for 51 laps for caution.

Unofficially, in the championship point standings, Steckly has a 113-point advantage on Kennington.

The Canadian Tire Series begins its two-race swing through western Canada in two weeks with the A&W 300 on July 19 at SunValley Speedway in Vernon, B.C. which will be followed a week later by the Canadian Tire Series 100 on the temporary road course at City Centre Airport in Edmonton, as part of the Rexall Edmonton Indy weekend.

Race stats

Time of Race: 1 hour 52 minutes 11 seconds

Margin of victory: 2.531 seconds

Fastest Qualifier: D.Thomson Jr. (83.629 mph, 17.219 seconds)

Caution Flags: 11 for 51 laps.

Lead Changes: 7 among 6 drivers.

Lap Leaders: D.Thomson,Jr. 1-70; R.Beauchamp,Jr. 71-102; K.Micks 103-115; J.Hathaway 116-131; D.Thomson,Jr. 132-162; P.Gibbons 163-179; D.Thomson,Jr. 180-187; S.Steckly 188-250.

Standings: 1. S.Steckly, 725; 2. D.Kennington, 612; 3. D.Thomson,Jr., 599; 4. K.Micks, 589; 5. J.Fitzpatrick, 585; 6. A.Ranger, 580; 7. P.Gibbons, 571; 8. D.Lynch, 554; 9. B.Graham, 550; 10. D.Brown, 506.