Sprint Car Insider – Driver Exclusive. FRESNO Ca. (October 15, 2018) – Lemoore Raceway’s 2018 Restricted Class champion put an exclamation point on his season by driving to a dominant victory of the Cal Cup over a full field of contenders.
Caeden Steele had a great second year contesting the Restricted class. Throughout the year he earned two track championships, Delts Speedway, and Lemoore Raceway, along with 7 main event wins over three different tracks and runner-up in King of California. Despite the standout results of his season, the pressure of closing Championships weighed on him heavily as his closest competitors drove to more victories without pressure while he carefully closed his deals. Even though he was crowned best of two tracks doubt began to creep into the head of Steele.
After Saturday’s run, there is not a doubt left in his mind or anyone else’s.
The 2018 California Cup, which featured an all-new format and elevated purse, began on Friday night. As opposed to running two complete shows as the Cal Cup normally would this year Friday would just be qualifying, heat races and main event qualifiers. Caeden Steele began his opening night with a 15th place qualifying effort.
He would quickly turn that around with a heat race victory. However, his second heat race on the night may be what made the difference for Steele and set him up for the remainder of the weekend. Steele came all the way to second in heat two and locked himself into the opening night qualifier. Opening night qualifiers featured only the top 10 point earning drivers and gave the opportunity of the top 4 finishers to lock into Saturday’s Championship Crowning main event.
Steele wound up finishing in the fourth spot and locked himself into the 30-lap main event Saturday night.
Saturday night Steele would only hit the track once before the main event but it was all he needed. As he started from the fourth position Caeden Steele made money moves early in the race before setting his sights on the leader.
As fate would have it Gauge Garcia maintained the lead as Caeden Steele took over the runner-up spot. It was Garcia who nearly stole the Lemoore title right out of Steele’s hand while driving around him at the points finale. With this in mind, Steele saw the opportunity for redemption ahead of him at the Cal Cup. This was his opportunity to erase the doubt that had crept into his head.
Steele was able to put the hammer down and drive his perfectly handling PMP Chassis with Boudakian power under the hood, to the back of the leader. He made the move on Garcia and proceeded to slip away.
Caeden Steele lead the remainder of the race en route to capturing his eighth win of 2018 over the closest competitors to him all season. He beat them straight up and pulled away. As the off-season takes shape Steele now finds himself with the confidence to go to big events and earn success.
“It feels so good to win,” said Steele. “Sometimes I feel like I get down on myself and I lose confidence. But my family and my sponsors make me feel good and tell me I can do it. When I have races like that it’s fun again and I believe them.”
Caeden Steele showed everyone Saturday night what it was that earned him two track titles. While the most doubt may have been coming from within Caeden Steele answered the question for the most important person: himself.
His Cal Cup victory was a statement. That win was the exclamation point on Caeden Steele’s 2018 Championship season.
Quick Results: Caeden Steele – 2018 Restricted California Cup Champion
2018 California Cup
Heat A: 1st
Heat B: 2nd
Fri. Qualifier: 4th
Main Event: 1st
Caeden Steele’s 2018 Statistics:
- Shows Ran:47
- Top 5s: 30
- Top 10s:41
- Championships: 2 (Lemoore Raceway, Delta Speedway track championships)
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On the Horizon for Caeden Steel (Distant Plans)
Turkey Bowl XVIII
October 26-27, 2018
35th Annual Tulsa Shootout
January 1-5, 2019
Tulsa Expo Center
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