December 13, 2022 – Pinellas Park, Florida – Showtime Speedway promotor Robert Yoho today announced that a huge bonus will be up for grabs for the 4th annual ‘Dave Steele 125’ February 24-25, 2023.
Yoho announced that the fast qualifier for the event will be given the chance to earn $20,000 if he accepts the challenge to start at the rear of the field and is able to win the 125-lap feature event. If he doesn’t accept the challenge, it will be offered to the second fastest qualifier all the way down to the fourth fastest qualifier until someone accepts the challenge. If nobody accepts the challenge, it will still pay $5,000 to win the event. But there must be twenty-five cars before the Yoho will formally offer the challenge.
It is no secret Yoho has a love for non-winged pavement sprint car racing. He features the class once a month from March through November at Showtime Speedway. In addition, the ‘Dave Steele 125’ is the highest paying pavement sprint car race in the state of Florida annually. Showtime Speedway is also the only Florida pavement track in Florida to race wingless.
The event was renamed the ‘Dave Steele 125’ from its original name ‘Dave Steele World Non Wing Sprint Car Championship 125’. The event was conceived prior to 2022 to give Florida pavement sprint car teams the opportunity to race without the wings and give Little 500 hopefuls a chance to get much needed non-wing seat time.
Surprisingly, very few Florida teams have chosen to participate in the event. Most of the participation to date has come from northern drivers. Yoho is hopeful adding this bonus will draw attention to the event and attract new competitors.
The event pays tribute to the late Dave Steele who lost his life in a racing accident at Bradenton, Florida in 2017. Steele was the winningest sprint car driver in the state of Florida at the time of his death including a multi-time Little 500 and USAC Silver Crown champion. Steele had been hopeful a big paying non-wing sprint car race that would attract northern and Florida drivers together during Florida Speed Weeks would have happened. it wasn’t until after his death that such an event came to fruition. This event is now run in his honor.
Currently several Florida drivers along with a handful of northern drivers have already expressed they will compete in this year’s event including Joe Liguori, Davey Hamilton Jr., Shane Butler, Tommy Nichols, Kyle O’Gara, Dude Teate, Colton Bettis, Johnny Gilbertson, and Travis Bliemeister, and Yoho himself.
The format to determine the starting lineup for the event hasn’t been finalized yet but will be announced in the coming days. Last year saw qualifying races ran on Friday night to determine the starting order. It is presumed a similar format will be used in 2023.