After 47 years of racing, Tom Walters is officially hanging up the helmet at season’s end. It’s only fitting the multi-time champion finishes his career off with another feature victory, as he went to victory lane on Saturday night at Sunset Speedway.
Following the first feature on the evening, it’d be Brittney Gresel starting pole ahead of Chris Morrow, Danny Benedict, Al Inglis, Ryan Kimball, Billy Zardo, Lane Zardo, Paul Maltese, Dwayne Baker, Gord Shepherd, Travis Hallyburton, Taylor Holdaway, Tom Walters, Shaun McWhirter, Nick Goetz, Mike Meyer and Chance Isherwood.
Off the drop of the green flag, it’d be Brittney Gresel behind the wheel of her No. 81 Sauble Falls Tent & Trailer Park, Brittney’s Hair Studio, Walkerton Toyota, Spira Fire Protection and Cabral Racing Promotions Late Model side-by-side for the lead with Chris Morrow, behind the wheel of his No. 11 MORROW ELECTRIC, CRS CONTRACTOR RENTAL SUPPLY, PLUMBTECH PLUMBING, HALL’S SERVICE CENTRE, SN DIESEL Late Model.
Inglis moved into second as Billy Zardo and Benedict ran side-by-side for fourth. Zardo got the spot on Lap 3, with Maltese, Zardo and Baker following him through.
Notably, the battle for the lead was great to watch for the fans up until Lap 8 when things turned ugly. Contact happened resulting in damage to Morrow and Gresel as Inglis got turned around backwards, with Maltese catching a good chunk for front end damage. Behind them, Shepherd and Baker got tangled up together up against the backstretch wall.
Everyone was able to continue, but it’d shuffle the running order. Billy Zardo would restart as the leader with 27 laps to go ahead of Lane Zardo, Hallyburton, Kimball, Benedict, Goetz, Shepherd, Walters, Isherwood, Meyer, McWhirter, Baker, Gresel, Maltese and Morrow.
The restart saw a battle for the lead between the Zardo brothers with Lane putting the No. 46 Holmes on Homes, Shelby Roofing, National Exhaust, Better Contracting, Smart Screen and Cabral Racing Promotions Late Model out front, as Hallyburton got alongside Billy for second. Hallyburton took the spot on Lap 11, getting alongside Lane for the lead a lap later.
As the pair battled side-by-side for the top spot, Billy Zardo solidly ran third ahead of Holdaway and Shepherd as Benedict and Goetz ran side-by-side for sixth. Holdaway then got alongside Zardo for third at Lap 15, but the caution flew a lap later for McWhirter spinning off of turn four. With 20 laps to go, Lane Zardo led Hallyburton, Billy Zardo, Holdaway, Shepherd, Goetz, Benedict, Walters, Kimball, Gresel, Baker, Isherwood, Morrow, Maltese, Meyer and McWhirter.
The restart saw a continuation of the battle for the lead between Lane Zardo and Hallyburton as Holdaway moved into third with Goetz and Billy Zardo side-by-side for fourth. Unfortunately, the battle didn’t go as planned, as the third caution flew for Shepherd spinning Billy Zardo, with Benedict spinning in the aftermath. Both drivers were sent to the rear of the field for the restart.
Another restart, more side-by-side racing for the lead for Lane Zardo and Hallyburton as Goetz got alongside Holdaway for third. Walters worked his way up to the fifth spot ahead of Baker as Morrow and Kimball ran side-by-side for seventh.
Fortunately, the battle for the lead featured contact, resulting in Hallyburton’s fender coming loose as Zardo pulled ahead. A lap later, the fender broke off, bringing out a debris caution at Lap 27. Due to being the cause of the debris, Hallyburton was sent to the tail of the field.
The restart saw a new battle for the lead emerge between Zardo and Goetz, but the caution flew for the fifth time due to a flat tire for Billy Zardo.
Nick Goetz got a good restart to put the No. 24 Lake Huron Rod & Gun, Mondo Car Wash, Boston Pizza, Super 8 Motel, Lord Elgin Fish & Chips, Rosener’s Service Centre, Roberto’s Pizzeria, Great Lakes Concrete, Austin Graphics, Pierson Motors of Kincardine and ImageWraps.ca Late Model out front as Lane Zardo and Walters ran side-by-side for second.
There were battles through the field as Morrow and Holdaway ran side-by-side for fourth ahead of Baker and Gresel, with Kimball and Maltese side-by-side for eighth. Morrow got the fourth spot at Lap 31, with Baker following him through the next lap. Ultimately, Holdaway’s strong run came to an end with three laps to go as the rear-end let go out of his car, bringing out the sixth caution.
The restart saw Tom Walters put the No. 47 PRO FLOOR SANDING AND REFINISHING, KNIGHTWORKS DESIGN Late Model out front, leading the rest of the laps en route to scoring the checkered flag.
Nick Goetz finished second, followed by Lane Zardo. Chris Morrow finished fourth following contact with the outside wall virtue of contact from Goetz, while Dwayne Baker rounded out the top-five.
Brittney Gresel finished sixth, followed by Travis Hallyburton, Ryan Kimball, Paul Maltese and Gord Shepherd. Chance Isherwood finished 11th, followed by Danny Benedict, Billy Zardo, Mike Meyer, Taylor Holdaway, Shaun McWhirter and Al Inglis.