From Tragedy to Triumph
August 18,2016 Blacksburg VA
By Shane Green
Devin Steele has had his career best season in the LMSC division since moving up three years ago. Steele started out this season with 3 back-to-back wins at the first 3 races held at Franklin County Speedway in Callaway, VA causing promoter Langley Austin to place a bounty on him. This next race would prove to be his worst of the season, with Steele finishing seventh due to a cut tire mid-way through the race. Devin would then rebound to finish second in the Father’s Day race to the driver of the 78 late model, Ricky Gillespie.
Tragedy soon hit the Steele family. Devin’s father passed away on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. Racing began in the Steele family with Devin’s grandfather, who got his father Kenneth into racing years ago. Through this influence, Devin began racing go-karts at age 5. Devin’s first-ever win came in 2014 at Franklin County Speedway, with his father in attendance. Taking time from the beloved sport, Steele would miss the next three events to be with his family and friends during his time of mourning.
Devin Steele returned to Franklin County as the chase for the championship begun. In this race Steele battled for the win with Kyle Dudley, coming up short and finishing second. This past weekend, Devin Steele started the race on the pole, with Kyle Dudley on the outside. The two battled hard, swapping back and fourth for the lead before Steele finally got the best of Dudley on a mid-race break restart. Steele wasn’t able to simply pull away, however — he and Dudley made contact in turns 1 and 2 and again in 3 and 4, sending Steele sideways. Devin was able to hold the lead, however, and as Dudley’s car began to fade, we saw Devin Steele and Ricky Gillespie battling for the lead for the remainder of the race. Steele held on through the next two restarts and was able to take the checkered flag for the first time since his father’s passing, which lead to an emotional celebration in victory lane.
While it is always difficult to return to a place where you have so many memories with a loved one, it sometimes proves to be the best place to begin the healing process — and I am sure someone was smiling down on FCS’s victory lane last weekend