After he decided to hang up his driving gloves in 2015 after scoring four NASCAR Pinty’s Series championships and 19 wins over a nine-year career, he decided to focus on being a team owner.
Now he’s ready for the next mountain to climb in his storied career.
Steckly now focuses his efforts on fielding three full-time entries this season in the series and wants to celebrate with one of his drivers in December as the 2018 season champion.
Steckly, who is still tied for second place on the all-time win list in the series, says winning races and a championship is why he still works so hard.
SCOTT STECKLY: CAREER STATS
“It’s definitely the only reason I still do this for a living: I want to win races and championships,” Steckly said. “It might not be the same feeling as driving a car, but when we do have success it’s a good feeling. It’s different but it still feels good to celebrate a win.”
Steckly prepares cars driven by Alex Tagliani, Marc-Antoine Camirand and Donald Theetge with all three drivers at different levels of experience and that is another challenge that Steckly welcomes.
Theetge scored his first career win on the recent west swing in the first race at Wyant Group Raceway in Saskatoon and is eighth in points. Camirand has yet to win but is third in points, seven ahead of Tagliani. Tagliani has six career Pinty’s wins, including at Quebec’s Circuit de Trois-Rivieres, where the series heads next on Aug. 12.
Steckly said he uses a base set up on his race cars when he prepares them at his shop along with his cousin Randy and his dedicated crew.
“We have a base set up that we modify based on the driver in the car,” Steckly said. “Donald likes to drive his car hard into the corners so we set his car up to handle that while Marc with his road course background likes to float the car into the corners.
“Alex has his own specific set up he likes to use because he has so much more experience that Donald or Marc.”
Steckly also doesn’t hesitate to offer his experience from his driving days to help his drivers prepare their cars on race days.
“I try to be hands on with all of the drivers,” said Steckly. “One example is to help them with the setup of the cars on race day. We often practice in the day time when the track is hot and slick but race at night when the track is usually cooler.
“I try and let them know how to expect the car to ‘feel’ in practice although it will most likely drive differently in the race. This is where I feel my experience can help them learn and understand how the car should feel in practice when they are on the track.”
Steckly remains focused on winning a championship completely focused on being a car owner and feels it will happen.
“We won three races with Alex driving in my first year concentrating on preparing the cars and not driving,” he said. “I feel we can win races with multiple drivers this season.”
When asked if Steckly would ever pull out his driver’s suit again, he didn’t completely rule it out, but things would be different this time.
“If I did drive again, I would not be a car owner of multiple teams. I learned the last time that maintaining cars and trying to focus on your driving is just too much. To do both well and at a championship level you would have to let one suffer and I won’t do that again.”
While it’s been four seasons since he last competed behind the wheel, Steckly feels nothing has changed with the competition in the popular series.
“The series features some of the best drivers in Canada and to win a race in this series takes talent, preparation and a little bit of luck sometimes,” said Steckly. “it’s as competitive as it has always been and that is a challenge I love.
“The competition has always been great in this series and still is today.”
The Milverton, Ontario native has also noticed some subtle changes off the track as well now that he looks at the series through the lens of a car owner.
“I feel the series is holding its own and while it could use a few more cars, the ones coming to the track are all very competitive,” Steckly said. “I feel the biggest change I’ve noticed is how professionally the series is operated and that’s the biggest change I’ve noticed.”