After a fierce battle, it’d be Scott Steckly coming out on top in the Komatsu 300 presented by Wilson Equipment at Riverside International Speedway on Saturday to take the victory and extend his points lead.
“It was the best day possible,” the driver of the No. 22 Canadian Tire/MotoMaster Dodge said. “We were the fastest car in practice, won the pole and won the race. I can’t ask for much more than that.”
Steckly had a racecar driver’s dream day as he was the quickest car in practice and in qualifying.
“Last year, we came in here and were fastest in practice and qualifying, but came up a little short in the race and finished second,” he stated. “We came here to win the race and my crew came up with a little different pit strategy than what we did last year and it worked out for the best.”
The victory marks his third of the season and the 11th of his career as the 2008 series champion goes for his second championship. He now leads DJ Kennington by 94 points.
“We didn’t come here looking to protect the points lead,” Steckly commented. “We wanted to leave here with as big of a lead as possible going into Kawartha. Earlier this year, we lost 80 points at Saskatoon, so we came into the race looking to expand the lead, not protect it.”
The final 100 laps went green, which worked against Shepherd as he would’ve like to come down pit road for right-side tires.
“It would have been nice to get a caution there toward the end to get new right sides, but you never know how that might have worked out,” Shepherd, who scored his third top-five of the year in six starts, said.. “With the way it worked out, I could catch (Steckly), but I was never going to get around him. There just wasn’t enough left.”
Donald Chisholm would get a series best finish, racing on his home track, after passing Kennington for third.
“Obviously, I wanted to get around (Kennington), but tapping him like that was not intentional,” Chisholm commented. That’s not how I had it planned. It was great, though, to turn in a good performance here at home.”
Kennington would finish fourth with Kerry Micks in fifth. J.R. Fitzpatrick would get sixth, followed by Jason Hathaway, Ron Beauchamp Jr., Chris Raabe and Mark Dilley.
The race was slowed due to caution just two times for 32 laps while the lead changed hands eight times among four drivers with Steckly leading a race-high 194 laps.
The NASCAR Canadian Tire Series closes out the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 24 in the Kawartha 250 at Kawartha Speedway in Fraserville, Ont.