After rain washed out Friday’s test session and Saturday’s race schedule, the Budweiser 300 and inaugural visit to Autodrome Chaudiere by the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series, presented by Mobil 1 finally took the green flag at 1:30 on Sunday afternoon.
Steckly in the Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge thought that they would be close on the set up but when practice started it became apparent they were off the mark. The team quickly went to work during the half hour break to try and improve the handling, but they were still facing issues when the final practice session at this new track ended.
While making more changes to the car ahead of qualifying, the team were late to NASCAR technical inspection and were assessed a penalty, that being losing one of their two qualifying laps. As any driver will attest, the first lap is just to warm up the tires and get everything ready for that all important second lap. With only one circuit of this tight ¼ mile high banked oval, Steckly wasn’t able to get enough heat in the tires to get a good lap so they settled for the 14th starting position. “This is certainly not where we want to start the race from,’’ said driver Steckly. “But I have faith my crew will get it better for me for the race.”
At the drop of the green flag, the Canadian Tire Dodge driver tried to be patient as it was going to be a hard 300 laps of racing. With no pit stops allowed in this race due to the lack of a pit road, NASCAR would be waving the caution flag at about the half way mark for a competition caution. The teams would then be paced off the track to an area set up with their pit boxes and they would change two tires and take fuel during a 10 minute break. With no pit strategy available to the teams, it was all about track position. With less than fifty to go Steckly was still battling deep in the pack, but a couple of late race cautions gave him the inside line on restarts and he was able to take advantage and move up to finish fourth. ‘It was a hard battle out there today,” said Steckly after the race. “I can’t thank my crew enough for all their hard work. It was hard to race side by side, but we got a little lucky on the final two restarts and picked up a few extra spots.”
The Budweiser 300 from Autodrome Chaudiere will air Sat. June 21 at 1:30 p.m. ET on TSN and Fri. July 4 at 8 p.m. on RDS2 and Wed., July 9 at 7 p.m. ET on RDS.
Scott Steckly is supported by the following companies: Canadian Tire Corporation, Osram Sylvania, Mobil 1, Erb Group of Companies, AW Millwrights, Reefer Sales and Metrocom Canada.
The next event for the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 teams will be at Mirabel’s Circuit ICAR on July 5 & 6th.
Fans can follow Scott Steckly through his website at 22racing.ca or on Twitter @ScottSteckly22 or you can Like the 22RacingTeam fan page on Facebook. For all at track updates during race weekends for Scott and the other 22 Racing Team entries follow us on Twitter @22RacingTeam.