“It’s a great start to the season that we’ve had so far,” he said. “We have a win, two seconds and a fifth place finish, which is very important to get off to a good start in our series, which only has 12 races. One or two bad races can take you out of the points so to get out off to a good start is very important and that’s what we’ve done.”
The win, which came in the first race of the season at Mosport Raceway, opened up the gates to a season that has been full of success for the driver of the No. 22 Canadian Tire Dodge. The win was followed by a pair of second place finishes at Circuit ICAR and Delaware. The last race for the series was last month back at Mosport, though on the road course, which resulted in a fifth place finish after starting on pole.
This weekend, the Canadian Tire Series will be running the Exhibition Place course located in Toronto, as part of the Honda Indy Toronto weekend.
“It’s a very important race for us,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of cars at Toronto so we definitely don’t want to get a DNF. The road courses attract a lot of cars so we need a good solid finish here at Toronto. We definitely are going to try for a very first road course win. It’s definitely very important for our sponsors to be in Toronto racing at the Indy so we’re looking for great things this weekend.”
For Steckly, his first start in Toronto came last year in which he finished 11th after starting 10th. Though for the most part, road courses aren’t the better area of emphasis for the driver from Milverton, Ontario as he grew up racing on ovals. However, the current Canadian Tire Series schedule has five road courses with a total of 12 events.
“I would rather have more ovals,” Steckly commented. “That’s just because I grew up racing on oval tracks. We get better results on oval tracks, that’s for sure. We do decent on the road courses. We’ve had four or five second place finishes. We can normally run in the top five, but we’ve never got a win on a road course. We getting closer every year so we’re putting a lot of emphasis on the road courses this year and trying to get a win.”
Steckly got into racing originally through some friends, which saw them build a street stock and have him as the driver in 1992. From there, he progressed through the local ranks till he joined the CASCAR ranks in 1999, winning rookie of the year his first year out. He continued to compete in CASCAR till it was renamed the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in 2007.
Since the series has been called the Canadian Tire Series, Steckly has won one championship, which came in 2008 after winning four races and having four second place finishes that season.
Throughout the years, there have been many memorable highlights, though a win in 2009 at Auto Clearing Speedway in Saskatoon is the highlight.
“I would say my most memorable win is Saskatoon in 2009,” he said. “We blew a motor in practice. We had to borrow a motor from another competitor and we started at the rear of the field and we came from the rear of the field to win the race. So I’d say that’s my memorable win.”
There also have been many lessons learned behind the wheel, but the one that still stands out is respect.
“The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to treat the other competitors and people the way you would like to be treated. Its not like anybody is going away in this sport. I’ve raced against the same guys for the past 10 years so I think its really important to be yourself and treat people the way you would want to be treated.”