Threes Are Wild For Steckly

ST. EUSTACHE, Quebec – Scott Steckly returned to a familiar place on Saturday night, Victory Lane at Autodrome St. Eustache after winning the National 250 presented by Public Mobile.

Steckly, out of Milverton, Ont., staged a heated battle with J.R. Fitzpatrick as the two exchanged the lead four times over the final 65 laps of the race. However, a Lap 243 spin by Fitzpatrick in Turn 4, while racing side-by-side with Steckly, paved the way for the No. 22 Canadian Tire/Sylvania Dodge.

“It was a lot of fun racing with J.R.,” said Steckly, who led a race-high 54 laps. “We got into each other a little bit, but nothing serious. It was just great short-track racing.”

It was Steckly’s third consecutive NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 victory and the 14th of his series career. Additionally, it was his third win in five starts on the .4-mile Quebec oval.

The St. Eustache track had not been on the schedule since July 2010, but the two-time series champion was glad to see it return to the lineup.

1 Scott Steckly
2 Alex Guenette
3 J.R. Fitzpatrick
4 Ron Beauchamp Jr.
5 Jason White

“We were happy to see St. Eustache back on the schedule,” he said. “We’ve done well here in the past and the fan support is amazing. Anytime you can come to a race track and get the kind of support we get here, it’s great to come back.”

Rookie Alex Guenette crossed the line in the second position for his best finish of the season and now has top-10 finishes in three of his last four starts.

“We’re really happy finally to get the finish we deserve – I think,” said 17-year-old, who gave a lot of credit to car owner and spotter Dave Jacombs. “Dave was great on the radio. He kept me calm and kept reminding me to not overdrive the car.”

After recovering from the late-race spin, third-place finisher Fitzpatrick again was left with a feeling of what could have been. He seemingly has been in the mix for the win every race this season, but the breaks have yet to fall his way.

“It was about survival tonight, but third is good for us in the points,” said Fitzpatrick. “Scott and I beat and banged each other a bit there and there’s nothing wrong with that. It was just great hard-nosed racing. I thought we were going to get that win tonight, but that (No. 22) was fast.”

Ron Beauchamp Jr. finished in the fourth spot after winning his fifth career pole position earlier in the day while Jason White followed with a season-best finish of fifth.

Louis-Philippe Dumoulin, Martin Roy, Trevor Seibert, Dave Connelly and Noel Dowler completed the top 10.

D.J. Kennington holds the series record for consecutive wins at five, a mark he established a season ago en route to his second series title.

With the victory, Steckly took the lead in the championship standings from Kennington, who finished the race in 16th after battling mechanical problems early in the race. Steckly now holds a 10-point advantage over Dumoulin and has a 15-point edge on Kennington. It’s the first time this season that the standings lead has been in double-digits.

The National 250 presented by Public Mobile will premiere on TSN at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 4. The French-language telecast will air on RDS2 at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday, Aug. 24 and at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday, Aug. 25 on RDS.

The NASCAR Canadian Tire Sires presented by Mobil 1 is next on track on Sunday, August 11 for the 100 in the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres (Que.).