Gord Shepherd Wins Dramatic Autumn Colours Classic Limited Late Model 75

Photo Courtesy of Debbie Spence

Photo Courtesy of Debbie Spence

With a mix of crashes, side-by-side racing, drama and fights, the 2016 Autumn Colours Classic Limited Late Model 75-lap feature had a bit of everything for every fan. In the end, it was 2016 Sunset Speedway Late Model Champion Gord Shepherd picking up the victory.

The first heat didn’t start out pretty as Mark Gordon and Nick Goetz wrecked together off the drop of the green flag. 2016 NASCAR Pinty’s Series Champion Cayden Lapcevich picked up the win ahead of Chris Mitchell, Thayne Hallyburton, Matt Bentley, Dave Bartlett, Taylor Holdaway, Jack Horner and Tyler Liscum.

Craig Graham won the second heat ahead of Paul Maltese, Gord Shepherd, Tom Walters, Al Inglis, Rick Spencer-Walt, Steven Munro, Todd Delisle and Dave Waite.

Past event winner Ryan Kmball won the third heat ahead of James Horner, Lane Zardo, Mike Wallace, Brittney Gresel, Travis Hallyburton, Dwayne Baker and Steve Foster.

2016 Sunset Speedway Super Sock Champion Matt Bentley won the fourth heat ahead of Mitchell, Goetz, Holdaway, Lapcevich, Thayne Hallyburton, Bartlett and Liscum.

Gord Shepherd won the fifth heat ahead Munro, Walters, Maltese, Delisle, Graham, Inglis and Waite.

2014 Sunset Speedway Late Model Champion Dwayne Baker won the final heat ahead of Travis Hallyburton, Wallace, Zardo, Bryan Sudsbury, Foster, Kimball, Gresel and Horner.

Come feature time, it’d be Rick Spencer-Walt starting pole alongside Paul Maltese, following their 1-2 finish in the Chase for the Colours event earlier this year. Chris Mitchell started third, followed by Gord Shpherd, Matt Bentley, Cayden Lapcevich, Craig Graham, Lane Zardo, Tom Walters and Mike Wallace.

Ryan Kimball started 11th, followed by Steve Foster, Travis Hallyburton, Thayne Hallyburton, Steve Munro, Dwayne Baker, Taylor Holdaway, James Horner, Al Inglis and Bryan Sudsbury. Dave Bartlett started 21st, followed by Todd Delisle, Nick Goetz, Brittney Gresel, Tyler Liscum, Jack Horner and Dave Waite.

The feature started off with a caution as Kimball went around in turn one.

The second attempt to start went clean with Rick Spencer-Walt putting the No. 31 Jim Wilson Chevrolet, Eisses pumpmytank.ca, HOTC, Auto Trim Design Barrie, GoHydroVac.com, RCP Dyno, Speedy Auto Machine, Heidi’s RV Superstore, Orser Technical Service, The Frame Shop and Baker Performance Parts Late Model out front ahead of Mitchell and Maltese.

Bentley worked his way up into fourth ahead of Shepherd and Lapcevich. The second caution then flew at Lap 3 for Horner getting into the turn three and four wall.

Spencer-Walt got a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Mitchell and Maltese as Lapcevich worked his way up into fourth ahead of Bentley and Graham. Behind him, Zardo was able to get alongside Shepherd for seventh, completing the pass a lap later. Kimball then got alongside Shepherd for eighth, though was unable to complete the pass before the third caution came out on Lap 7 for Waite going around in turn one.

Spencer-Walt got another good restart ahead of Mitchell, Maltese, Lapcevich, Bentley and Zardo, but the caution flew once again for Thayne Hallyburton tagging the back of Graham in turn four, with Holdaway spinning behind them.

Spencer-Walt kept the good restarts coming ahead of Mitchell, Maltese and Bentley. Behind them, Lapcevich ran side-by-side with Kimball for fifth, with Kimball getting the spot on Lap 12. Behind then, Thayne Hallyburton ran seventh ahead of Walters and Baker. The fifth caution then flew on Lap 13 for Foster spinning in turn four as a result of contact from Shepherd.

The first attempt at a restart resulted in a caution as both Zardo and Goetz went around. Waite pulled off under the caution.

The second attempt went cleanly as Spencer-Walt continued to lead ahead of Mitchell with Maltese and Kimball side-by-side for third. Maltese got the third spot on Lap 16 ahead of Kimball, Bentley and Baker as Lapcevich ran side-by-side with Hallyburton for seventh. Lapcevich got the spot on Lap 18 ahead of Wallace, Hallyburton, Holdaway and Goetz as Travis Hallyburton and Walters ran side-by-side for 12th.

Holdaway and Goetz then both passed Thayne Hallyburton on Lap 20, as Travis Hallyburton cleared Walters for 12th. Further up the field, Kimball got by Maltese for third on Lap 22, with Bentley getting alongside. The seventh caution then flew on Lap 22 for Foster spinning off of turn two. With 53 laps to go, Spencer-Walt led Mitchell, Kimball, Bentley, Baker, Lapcevich, Maltese, Wallace, Holdaway, Goetz, Thayne Hallyburton and Travis Hallyburton.

Spencer-Walt got a good restart ahead of Mitchell and Kimball, but the caution flew once again for the eighth time at Lap 23 for Zardo cutting a right front tire.

Spencer-Walt got another good restart as Kimball got by Mitchell for second ahead of Bentley, Baker and Lapcevich. Travis Hallyburton moved into seventh ahead of Goetz and Shepherd before the ninth caution flew at Lap 26 for Bartlett going around in turn one.

Spencer-Walt kept the good restarts coming to keep the lead ahead of Kimball, Mitchell, Bentley and Baker. The cautions also kept coming, though; the 10th caution flew on Lap 28 for Liscum spinning in turn one.

The first attempt at a restart resulted in Walters going three-wide with Horner and Foster, with Horner going around. The incident then triggered another incident on the frontstretch as contact resulted in Walters climbing the side of Graham’s car, flipping over a couple times before sliding down the frontstretch on his roof. Thankfully, Walters was uninjured in the incident.

The second attempt at a restart was much cleaner as Spencer-Walt continued to lead with Mitchell side-by-side with Kimball for second. Mitchell got the spot on Lap 30, with Baker getting alongside Kimball. Baker then got the third spot on Lap 32, bringing Travis Hallyburton through with him. Kimball now ran fifth ahead of Lapcevich as Shepherd and Goetz ran side-by-side for seventh. Goetz got the spot on Lap 33 ahead of Shepherd, Holdaway and Thayne Hallyburton.

Outside of the top-10, it was Delisle running 11th followed by Sudsbury, Bentley, Liscum and Zardo. Goetz then made his way by Lapcevich for sixth at Lap 38, before the 12th caution flew at Lap 38 for Travis Hallyburton riding the frontstretch wall.

Due to the amount of cautions and time limit, caution laps began to count so the restart came at Lap 41. Spencer-Walt continued to hold down the lead ahead of Mitchell as Baker ran side-by-side with Kimball for third. Baker got the spot on Lap 43 ahead of Kimball, Goetz, Shepherd, Thayne Hallyburton and Lapcevich. The caution then flew for the 13th time at Lap 44 for Bartlett slowing on the frontstretch.

The restart came at Lap 46 with Spencer-Walt holding serve ahead of Mitchell, but also brought forth the 14th caution at Lap 47 due to Thayne Hallyburton and Kimball getting together, collecting Shepherd and Lapcevich. Notably, Shepherd got his spot within the top-five back despite being involved in the wreck.

The restart came at Lap 51 with Spencer-Walt continuing to lead ahead of Mitchell, Baker and Shepherd as Holdaway and Goetz battled for fifth. Shepherd then got alongside Baker for third on Lap 54, completing the pass two laps later as Holdaway moved into fifth. Goetz now ran sixth ahead of Sudsbury and Zardo as Inglis battled Wallace for ninth. Wallace got the spot on Lap 60, bringing Delisle, Bentley and Kimball through with him.

Kimball continued his climb back to the front, getting alongside Bentley for 11th at Lap 63. Kimball completed the pass a lap later, also getting by Delisle to move into 10th. Bentley now ran 12th ahead of Liscum, Lapcevich, Inglis, Munro and Foster. The 15th caution then flew at Lap 67 for Baker going around courtesy of Goetz.

The restart came at Lap 70 with Spencer-Walt continuing to lead as Shepherd moved into second ahead of Mitchell, with Wallace and Maltese spinning a lap later on the backstretch. The caution didn’t fly then, but rather for Kimball spinning Zardo on Lap 73.

The restart saw things go crazy as the top-three went three-wide for the lead – Spencer-Walt, Shepherd and Mitchell. The move didn’t work as Holdaway tagged the back of Mitchell, resulting in Mitchell going around for the 17th time. The second attempt wasn’t much cleaner, resulting in the 18th caution as both Zardo and Sudsbury went around. Under caution, Spencer-Walt made his way down pit road with a flat right front tire courtesy of contact from Shepherd. As a result, Shepherd took over the top-spot behind the wheel of the No. 10s PROGRESSIVE WASTE SOLUTIONS, THE DOCK GUY, COOKSTOWN AUTO CENTRE, TORBRAM ELECTRICAL SUPPLY, HAMEL MASONRY, HWY 400 TRANSMISSION, SEASONED PAINTING, NORTHWAY TRUCK STOP, FOX’S BAKERY AND DELI, KREUGER ELECTRIC, TSS TOP SHOPS, DESJARDANS Late Model.

Gord Shepherd led the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory ahead of Ryan Kimball. Ultimately, Kimball wouldn’t get credited with a runner-up finish due to getting DQ’d in post-race inspection. Taylor Holdaway got credited with second ahead of Matt Bentley, Cayden Lapcevich and Chris Mitchell. Al Inglis was sixth, followed by Steve Foster, Dwayne Baker, Tyler Liscum and Mike Wallace. Craig Graham was 11th, followed by Nick Goetz and Bryan Sudsbury.

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