by Chris Leone // Website // Twitter
Images via David Cosseboom (1); O.D.D. Racing (2)

Colorado-based Cameron Steely has become one of rally’s top up-and-coming drivers over the past few years, winning the 2016 Rally America 2WD championship with his O.D.D. Racing Ford Fiesta. Partnered with Preston Osborn, Steely made the jump up to the Super Production class this year and has thus far continued his winning ways, taking multiple overall podiums while still building the new Fiesta that he plans to use later this year. With Rally Colorado the next round on the Rally America National Championship schedule, get to know Steely before his home event:

What made you want to start rallying?

I always enjoyed rallying and thought the best drivers in the world raced rally cars. Growing up, I always wanted to be a pro basketball player or racecar driver, so here I am. There is nothing like sliding around on gravel and going over 100 miles per hour. What makes me love rallying more than any other motorsport in the world is the skill it takes to race. We race on all surfaces, tarmac, gravel, ice, snow, mud—sometimes all in the same rally, and in every type of weather condition.

When was your first event and how did you do?

2011 NEFR, we had a DNF—the car broke.

When was your first really memorable result—win or podium—and how did you get there? 

The 2014 Mt. Washington Hill Climb, got second in class in 2WD. It was my first national podium and first time driving on tarmac. But the most memorable podium was when we got first in class in 2WD and third overall at NEFR in 2016. Only a few times has a 2WD car made the overall podium, so it was something special.

Who is your usual co-driver, and when did you two start rallying together? 

Preston Osborn, 2014. He did do a one off race with me in 2013, I liked him and started the 2014 season with him.

What’s your favorite event on the Rally America schedule?

LSPR or 100 Acre Wood. I love the fast, smooth, flowing roads.

Do you have any pre-event routines?

No, I just try to get enough sleep the night before.

Which other drivers in your class do you respect the most?

I would have to say Ryan Millen, when we were battling for the championship in the 2WD class in 2016. He’s a great friend and competitor, and he made me a better driver. I hated losing to him but if I had to lose to anyone I wanted it to be him. This year we are in a different class (Super Production) and I would have to say Tim Rooney, he’s a fast driver and keeps it clean.