Scott Steckly of Milverton travels in some fast company.
The 2008 and 2011 NASCAR Canadian Tire Series champion prepares cars for others to race in addition to his own mount and some of the drivers who’ve raced for him include Max Papis and L.P. Dumoulin, who won the season-opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on the Victoria Day Speedfest weekend.
Sponsored by the Dodge Dealers of Quebec, Villeneuve last raced at Trois-Rivieres in 2009. He shook down the car on Tuesday at Circuit ICAR (Mirabel Airport) and issued this statement:
"I was very pleased with the setup that Scott and the team put under the car today. This is probably only once in my career that I jumped into a car and it was good right out of the box. I am very excited to race at Trois-Rivieres."
It will be good to see you back out there again, Jacques.
Meantime, the IZOD IndyCar Series moves to the Milwaukee Mile this coming weekend and our own James Hinchcliffe will make his 40th career start there on Saturday afternoon. "Hinch" likes Milwaukee because he had a podium there last year - he finished third.
"I love racing there," he’s quoted as saying in an Andretti Autosport release, "not only because of the history of the place but also because the wheel-to-wheel action is awesome. The team had a really strong outing there last year, so hopefully we can repeat that performance and celebrate with some cheese, brats and beer. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Saturday on Father’s Day weekend."
One other thing about James. He’s asking his fans to design a new helmet for him and the winning design will be on Hinch’s head when he races in the final IZOD event of the season at California Speedway in October. For details, click here.
The other Canadian in the race on Saturday will be Alex Tagliani and he’s due to have some good luck. As the saying goes, if he didn’t have bad luck he wouldn’t have any luck at all. The rumour mill has been suggesting that Tag’s days are numbered at Brian Herta’s team but I reject that, simply because the money that team has is there because Alex Tagliani arranged for it. No Tag, no moolah. It’s that simple.
For the Indy car series’ sake, let’s hope their TV numbers start to improve. They were on network television again last Saturday night (ABC) and finished last in the ratings game. Fox had major league baseball and that got a 3.2 rating. NBC had NHL hockey and that landed a 2.9. Indy car got a 1.1.
Of course, they do a great job of boring everybody to death beforehand. Baseball comes on and they have maybe five minutes of pre-game and then the pitcher throws the first ball. Same with hockey; five minutes to set the scene and then they drop the puck.
Indy car racing had an explanation of how high the banking is at Texas Motor Speedway, a prayer, the U.S. national anthem, an interview with Marco Andretti and Helio Castroneves about how exciting the racing was going to be (unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way) and then they ordered the engines to start.
That’s about 20 minutes we can do without.
Then, when they actually started the race, two laps later – two laps – Pippa Man’s rent-a-ride from Dale Coyne caught fire and they threw a yellow and then took five or six laps to determine that there was no reason they shouldn’t have continued racing.
By that time, I suspect many viewers had changed channels.
By the way, wasn’t that a wonderful lead-in to the Indy car race on ABC?
Tim Allen’s show Last Man Standing last Saturday night before the Indy race featured Tony Stewart and his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car. Tim Allen went for a joy ride in the stock car. Ha. Ha.
My question: was that an accident? Or was it done by design?