SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – The rough start to the 2013 season for Scott Steckly is a mere memory as the two-time champion is squarely back in the hunt for another NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 title.
The Milverton, Ontario, driver held off a hard-charging Mark Dilley to claim the Velocity Prairie Thunder 250 presented by Bayer CropScience on Wednesday night at Auto Clearing Motor Speedway. Steckly picked up his first win of the season four nights ago at Motoplex Speedway and Event Park in Vernon, B.C., giving him a sweep of this year’s two-race swing through Western Canada.
It’s Steckly’s 13th series career win which ranks third all-time behind D.J. Kennington with 18 and Andrew Ranger’s 17.
Steckly began the year with a pair of finishes outside the top 20, but since then he has driven his No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge to a pair of wins and two second-place finishes.
Pole sitter J.R. Fitzpatrick set a blistering pace early, but he was not able to hold off Steckly after a spirited battle for the lead that lasted for several laps. Steckly was able to take control after Dilley made contact with Fitzpatrick on lap 226 that sent Fitzpatrick spinning out of contention for his first oval-track win since July 2007.
Jason Hathaway bounced back from an early spin to finish third followed by Kennington and Trevor Seibert in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Noel Dowler, Fitzpatrick, Ron Beauchamp Jr., Cameron Hayley and James Van Domselaar completed the top 10.
Kennington started from the rear of the field at the initial green flag due to an unapproved adjustment after NASCAR impounded the cars when his team decided to swap engines following qualifying.