Minto resident Dwight Robinson helps NASCAR driver win Canadian championship

It’s team spirit that has helped take Minto residents on the road to success – via NASCAR.

Last week, Dwight Robin­son, of Minto, and Scott Steckly, of Milverton, were recognized by council with certificates for their recent win of the 2008 Canadian Tire NAS­CAR series.

Steckly is the second champion in NASCAR Canadian Tire Series history. Andrew Ranger won the inaugural championship in 2007.

Mayor David Anderson pointed out that councillor Wayne Martin brought the win to council’s attention and the certificates are  part of Minto’s effort to recognize the success of its citizens from Sports to entertainment.

Council members quipped that they had adopted Steckly as an honorary Minto resident for the night.

As for the team’s recent win, Anderson said “I know its a long and rigourous process and for many it is just a hobby.”

He added that the win shows that “if you stick with it you can be very successful.”

Robinson provided members of council with a background of NASCAR Canada which he said was CASCAR, which was purchased a few years ago by the American association.

Robinson said, “From our perspective, Scott and I both started up at Varney. Our budget up there was $2,500, and now with the cars we’re looking at $250,000.”

He said they take part in races across Canada – the 13 races spread from Vancouver, and Edmonton to Nova Scotia.

This year Steckly and his team won four firsts, four seconds and won the overall championship.

“It was a big achievement for us. I joined Scott’s team three years ago.”

With NASCAR as the sanctioned body, and Canadian Tire as the sponsor, it is just getting better and better, he said.

“It’s really amazing the following that we have. Now, when we race at Barrie we have 9,000 fans watching.”

The win of the series championship also means a chance to head to California in 2009.

Robinson said the winning driver is guaranteed a spot in NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale, Cali­fornia in January

Now the team is in the process of getting a car to take down to South Carolina for testing … but it will not be the car that won them victory in Canada.

“Our cars are not made for California races,” explained Robinson. It’s a whole different car. We’re working on it so that we can go.”

But even with that race ahead of them, Robinson said they are already working on sponsorships for next season.

“You’re never done.”

Anderson hoped their success continues and that council will hear more of them from the southern side.