Stickel Earns Sixth-Place at Delaware
Komoka, Ont. – In his first career trip to Delaware Speedway in an OSCAAR Modified, Shane Stickel drove his MSD Machine Tool entry to an impressive sixth-place finish on Saturday afternoon.
A top-ten finish at Delaware in a series debut at the rough track is an accomplishment few drivers can add to their resume. Stickel was also the top-finishing rookie on the afternoon.
“It was a pretty good night. It’s nice to put the car on the trailer in one-piece again,” said Stickel. “I think every lap we were getting better. Like Kawartha, I was working on my pedal control again. To come out of here with a top-ten, it’s a pretty successful night.”
The two-day event at Delaware started with time trials on Friday night, where Stickel laid down the 10th quickest time with a lap of 19.190 seconds.
Klotz Canada heat races were lined up based on time trial results, putting Stickel in heat two. He was consistent in a strong heat finishing fifth after also starting inside of row three. The heat race finish wasn’t for a lack of trying either as Stickel engaged in a thrilling battle with Davey Terry (No.14) for the fourth spot for several laps.
Stickel would line-up for Saturday’s feature race in the 10th position as well, but wasted little time moving forward. Moving up to ninth by the time of a lap two caution, Stickel was among the benefactors when fifth-place runner Brent McLean (No.7) suffered mechanical problems on lap eight.
Stickel once again found Terry on the race track and the two drivers battled for the sixth spot until a competition yellow on lap 25 gave the team the opportunity to make adjustments at the halfway mark and to add fuel.
When Matt Barton (No.2) called it a day at the halfway mark while running fifth, Stickel inherited the sixth spot.
The second-half allowed Stickel and Terry to duel for the final spot inside the top-five, but Terry would ultimately prevail. Stickel held off a hard charging John Harper (No.79) in the closing laps to keep the sixth spot.
“I always like running with Davey. We always seem to find each other on the track,” said Stickel. “The first half, I felt I had a bit of something for him. I even gave him a couple of friendly nudges here and there. This track is hard to pass on. If you get out of your main groove, the cars just kind of wants to do whatever it feels like.”
“I’m not sure I would have had enough to make the pass. In the second half he got away from me and I think we were falling off a bit.”
The 50-lap A-main event was the first time Stickel had ever competed in a feature race longer than 30-laps in length. However, the series rookie felt he fared well in the extra-distance event.
“It went a little better than I thought. I was a bit nervous because I do feel a little fatigued at the short banked tracks,” explained Stickel. “I’ve had to add some supports in to my headrest to keep my neck up. Delaware’s a pretty nice track to run. I was really happy with the outcome.”
The series will compete in 50-lap events twice more this season, including the Rick Woolner Memorial at Varney Speedway on September 14 and 15, and the Autumn Colours Classic on Thanksgiving weekend.
After two races at high-speed tracks, Stickel is excited to return to Flamboro Speedway on September 7 after two-weeks off. Stickel may have an advantage at Flamboro after running there several times with the Canadian Vintage Modified tour.
“I’m definitely relieved to go back to the little tracks,” said Stickel. “We seem to be taking a groove to the smaller tracks. We had a good finish at Peterborough, and some good runs at Sunset. So to go to Flamboro where I have some experience and I’m not at such a disadvantage with the smaller crates should be a good finish to the year.”
Shane Stickel’s OSCAAR season is supported by MSD Machine Tool, Shelane Properties, Huron Fasteners, Creative Edge Signs & Graphics, Metal Supermarkets, Paragon Collision Centre, MAC Contracting, Bizign Design Company, and SpeedwayPhoto.ca.
Follow Shane Stickel’s rookie campaign with OSCAAR all season long online at www.shanestickel.com and on Twitter via @ShaneStickel.
By Clayton Johns (@cjohnsmedia)
Photo Credit: Dan Little Jr.