Dave Steele of Tampa, Fla. will seek his first ever official USAC National feature victory in his home state this weekend when the USAC National Midgets compete at New Smyrna Speedway in New Smyrna Beach.
Dave’s only previous USAC win in Florida came in a “non-points” USAC Sprint race at Orlando in 2005 and he will be part of an RW Motorsports quartet of drivers slated to compete at the half-mile paved oval located just 10 minutes south of Daytona Beach.
Steele will be joined by Bobby Santos of Franklin, Mass., Ross Rankine of New London, Ohio and Kyle O’Gara of Beech Grove, Ind. in the RW stable for the Sunday and Monday night races.
“New Smyrna is one of the best tracks in Florida,” says Steele, who has had much success there in the past. “I won the only non-wing race I ever drove there, about 12 years ago, and have had several winged wins there too. It should be pretty fast, with good banking in the corners. The turns are tight but the straightaways are true straightaways, not like some of the arced ovals I’ve raced on.”
Sixty times Steve has graced victory lane after a USAC National event, 26 times in Sprints, 18 in Midgets and 16 in Silver Crown. In five straight years (2001-2005) Dave remarkably won at least one feature in each of USAC’s three National Series (Silver Crown, Sprint and Midget), a unique achievement.
In 2004 and 2005 he won USAC’s Silver Crown National driving title. His last USAC feature start came in a 2011 Silver Crown race in Indianapolis but his last USAC National Midget appearance came in the 2008 Turkey Night Grand Prix at Irwindale, Calif. His last USAC Midget victory came at Phoenix International Raceway in 2007.
Steele’s teammates are seasoned USAC drivers, with Santos having won 10 times in the USAC National Midget Series and Rankine claiming both the 2012 USAC Midwest pavement and dirt Midget titles. O’Gara finished third in last year’s USAC D1 Midget Series, earning feature wins at Morris, Ill. and Kalamazoo, Mich.