By Joseph Wolkin
Redemption was certainly sweet for Scott Steckly. The 43-year-old racer from Perth East, Ontario, entered the 2015 season with high hopes after falling short of winning back-to-back titles. He finished fourth in points in 2014, a year after his third NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship.
The 2015 season brought back old memories for Steckly. Holding off Jason Hathaway, who was a title contender for the first time in his ninth season on the tour, Steckly was crowned champion for the fourth time.
The title battle was intense entering the finale at Ontario’s Kawartha Speedway as Steckly had a nine-point lead over Hathaway and two-time champion Andrew Ranger. Even with victories in the final two races, Hathaway was unable to steal the crown from Steckly, who finished second to his title rival in the final race.
Steckly ended the year with 10 top-10 finishes in 11 races. He led a career-high 1,090 laps and visited Victory Lane three times.
With a season-high 15 lead changes, the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series drivers had an intense battle for the top spot whey they visited Saskatchewan’s Auto Clearing Motor Speedway in July.
During the first half of the short-track race, Ranger was the star of the show and he ended up leading 77 laps, while reigning champion Louis-Philippe Dumoulin joined the battle and was at the front of the pack for 11 laps.
However, over the final 68 laps, it was all Steckly and Hathaway. The two swapped the lead four times during the final quarter of the race. But in the end, it was Steckly who was able to pull away from Hathaway in one of the most intense races of the year.
NASCAR Canadian Tire Series in Review
Champion: Scott Steckly
Top Newcomer: Gary Klutt
Best Race: Clarington 200 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ontario
Best Moment: Alex Tagliani lapping the field en route to his second Canadian Tire Series victory at Ontario’s Sunset Speedway in June.