- Saturday 22 June, 2013
Will Steckly hauls home a third Norwalk trophy!
NORWALK, Ohio – A “five thou” margin of victory won the $5,000 on Saturday, June 22, 2013 in the No Box Bonanza at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.
Will Steckly, Milverton, Ontario, Canada prevailed over a reluctant race car to reap his third No Box championship at Summit Motorsports Park.
“During the first time trial it was a poor burnout,” Will Steckly said in the Winner's Circle. “The car spun, then stumbled at the line. That's something it never does. Stuff like that gets you wound up. I didn't think it would be my day. Now look at this.”
Two dark horses showed up for the final round: Will Steckly mashing metal in his black 1980 Dodge Charger versus Matt Ball, Continental, Ohio galloping along in a borrowed pony – A.J. Buchanan's black 1991 Mustang.
Matt Ball launched first, logging a 0.019-second reaction time.
But Will Steckly sliced the tree at the base in 0.001-seconds.
Matt Ball claimed the finish line at 0.033 seconds off his dial, compared with 0.046 seconds for Will Steckly.
The total race package lined Will Steckly up at 0.047 seconds and Matt Ball, 0.052 seconds, for a difference of 0.005 seconds in Will Steckly's favor.
“I love this track,” Will Steckly said.
In October of 2011 Will Steckly won a No Box Bonanza, he said.
“In '97 I won the Division 3 No Box Championship here,” Will Steckly said.
A combination of Will Steckly's giftedness and natural inclination of a 1968 Dodge Dart in 1987 kicked his racing habit in gear.
“I have friends who were involved in it,” said Will Steckly, who drove 5 ½ hours to get to Summit Motorsports Park. “And I've always been mechanically inclined. I've always been into engines and hot rods.”
Professionally Will Steckly works in an automotive shop, Dan's Performance Plus in Milverton, Ont., he said. After the win lights landed in his lane a few times, his No Box outlook changed.
“I thought, 'Well, maybe this will be my day.'”
Meanwhile, Matt Ball struggled with a reluctant truck, a 1991 Chevy S-10.
“Last night after I lost the round of five, the starter went out,” Matt Ball said. “I went out first round and couldn't get it fixed for buy backs today.”
While Matt Ball holds friends in high esteem, one he considers the best, especially in connection with two days in a row of going rounds.
“I have to give the credit to A.J. Buchanan,” Matt Ball said. “He was working with me yesterday on my lights, and he said to have confidence.”
Advice to have confidence is one thing, but do you trust someone with your race car?
“He went to leave for Heather Saalman's graduation, and he said, 'You can drive the car today,'” Matt Ball said.
Drive A.J.'s spunky black 1991 Mustang he did, all the way to his first final round in four years of racing.
Digging a little deeper we find that Matt Ball drove A.J. Buchanan's Mustang in November of 2012 in North Carolina, and won the first elimination round.
And Matt Ball found some success running his 1991 S-10 in Super Street in Division 3 of the National Hot Rod Association, he said, lining up eighth in points so far this year.
From meeting A.J. Buchanan three years ago, until January and the 2012 Mr. Gasket Banquet of Champions, the racing relationship emerged into the type of friendship that handles even personal matters, such as Matt Ball's engagement to Lisa Squires, Defiance, Ohio.
“In March we're getting married,” Matt Ball said, adding the round money may pay off the engagement ring. “A.J.is going to be the best man at our wedding. We decided that at the banquet.”
Matt Ball also appreciates the crewing by his father, Mike Ball, and his parents' gift of a sweet paint job on his truck.
“Family and friends,” Matt Ball said. “We couldn't do it without them.”