During practice leading up to the race, the crew continued to work on the handling package they began to use last weekend in an effort to set up the car to be consistently strong for the entire 200 lap race.
The crew’s hard work paid off and Steckly qualified a respectable 4th starting position in the main event, but #22 says he and his team don’t settle for less. “Our qualifying was good,” Steckly said after the race. “But we also expect to be up front every race.”
The race kicked off, and all 22 drivers were aggressively looking to gain positions. Close quarters among the cars lead to a lapped car making contact with the #22 Dodge, damaging the body and buckling the hood. “Whenever that happens, you worry about something rubbing on a tire and being able to see properly.” Steckly said after the race. There was some visible smoke that indicated a tire rub – but fortunately the damage to the Canadian Tire car was only cosmetic. During the team’s first scheduled pit stop, the crew worked quickly to clear the bodywork and pull off the hood. “The team did a great job fixing the car so that I could continue to race hard,” #22 spoke proudly about his crew.
Steckly continued to run amongst the leaders and a scheduled stop for tires was clean. Following a red flag situation due to a lighting malfunction, #22 found himself in 2nd place in the closing stages. “I was doing all I could to chase down the leader, but we just didn’t have quite enough to catch him,” Steckly said.
Steckly finished the race with a strong 2nd place, up two spots from his initial 4th place qualifying position. But for Steckly, there’s still a lot of work to do despite the huge resurgence from last weekend’s 14th place finish. “We’ll do some strategizing about this race set up,” he said. “It might not be the best choice, we’ll likely return to what we know works best and what has been successful for us.”
The Emco 200 will be aired on TSN Sunday July 8 at 3 p.m. ET and on RDS2 Wed. July 25 at 10 p.m. ET.
Next up for the 22 Racing/Canadian Tire Dodge team is three race Western Canada swing starting with Motoplex Speedway in Vernon, BC, on Saturday, July 14. For more information please visit www.nascarhometracks.com.
22 Racing is supported by the following sponsors: Canadian Tire, Motomaster Eliminator, Sylvania, Erb Group, Mobil 1 and AW Millwrights.
From Linda Jones at Wide Open Motorsport Solutions Inc.