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Kyle Steckly. (Rette Jones Racing photo)

Steckly To Continue Rookie ASA Campaign At Five Flags

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Four and a half weeks have felt like six months for Rette Jones Racing and ASA STARS Rookie driver Kyle Steckly.

That wait, however, will end when the ASA STARS National Tour resumes its schedule with Sunday afternoon’s Sunshine State 200 at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway. 

While his debut in the ASA STARS National Tour didn’t quite go as planned last month at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, Steckly and his Mooresville, N.C.-based Rette Jones Racing team recovered from a hiccup in qualifying to make serious headway throughout the race and capture an eighth-place finish after starting 31st.

With a solid finish in the books and his championship efforts off to a solid start, Steckly and his Mark Rette-led team trek to Five Flags, looking to capitalize on a recent test session at the historic half-mile and deliver another solid finish.

“I’m really looking forward to the Sunshine State 200,” said Steckly. “With one Super Late Model race under my belt with the Rette Jones Racing team, I think we can build on our strong result in the season opener and have some fun at Five Flags Speedway this weekend.”

Steckly, the son of four-time NASCAR Canada Series champion Scott Steckly, is adamant that his team’s preparation for 200 laps on Sunday will pay dividends in the second ASA STARS National Tour race of the season.

He is also banking on the experience of two pro late model races at Five Flags Speedway to quickly help him adapt to the fundamentals of super late model racing.

“We did a lot of preparation for this weekend’s Sunshine State 200,” added Steckly. “We were able to get out and test with our No. 30 APC Ford Mustang. I have also competed in two pro late model races there and have been doing lots of iRacing and following past races — just doing everything I can to be the most prepared we possibly can be.

“Five Flags is one of the toughest tracks out there, so it’s not going to be easy, but I am looking forward to Sunday’s challenge.”

Knowing that Sunday afternoon’s race will be one of the tests he faces so early into his first full season of ASA STARS National Tour competition, Steckly is determined to rely on the experience of New Smyrna to aid him towards another strong finish.

“New Smyrna was full of lessons and learning,” he explained. “I was proud of the team and how we rebounded from a rough start to the weekend. The biggest thing I learned was being patient. You can say you’re going to be patient but going out there and doing it is another mindset.

“Starting deep in the field, we had no choice but to be patient and it rewarded us with a solid top-10 finish. I don’t expect us to have as many cars as we did at New Smyrna, but I know at some point, patience will be a priority in making the most of my super late model Five Flags Speedway debut.”

When push comes to shove, Steckly is looking for back-to-back top-10 finishes to assist him in the championship standings on Sunday.

“Without a doubt, I am looking for another strong run with our No. 30 APC Auto Parts Centres Ford Mustang,” continued Steckly. “I’d love a top-five finish, but I think if we could run inside the top-10 the entire race and compete with the best of the best, learning from them would be fantastic and keeping us in the hunt.”

Pleased with their efforts at New Smyrna, the team led by former ARCA championship crew chief Mark Rette is confident they can find themselves in the hunt for the win Sunday afternoon.

“I am really proud of the resilience of the Rette Jones Racing team, including Kyle,” sounded Rette. “New Smyrna definitely did not unfold the way we wanted it to, but through determination, we persevered and left the track with a top-10 finish.

“We learned a lot in our first race together, and I believe we will be able to showcase what we capitalized on at Five Flags Speedway. It’s a track that I am familiar with and I know what it takes to go fast in Pensacola. Kyle is upbeat and eager to get to work and we’re all excited for a strong race for the No. 30 Auto Parts Centres Canusa Ford Mustang.”

With nine races remaining in the 2024 ASA STARS National Tour season, Steckly and Rette Jones Racing sit 10th in the championship standings and sit 34 points in the arrears of championship leader Casey Roderick.