After winning the track championship last year, Gord Shepherd picked up where he left off in scoring the victory in the first Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Late Model feature of 2017.
Shepherd laid down the quickest lap in qualifying at 14.936 seconds ahead of Mike Bentley (14.976), Taylor Holdaway (14.987), Travis Hallyburton (14.989), and Dwayne Baker (15.001). Jordan Latimer qualified sixth, followed by Rick Spencer-Walt, Nick Goetz, Josh Stade, and Thayne Hallyburton. Chris Morrow qualified 11th, followed by Lane Zardo, Billy Zardo, Paul Maltese, Mike Wilkinson, Ron Quesnelle, Ernie Fumerton, Kendra Adams, Danny Benedict, Brittney Gresel, Mike Meyer and Paul Geniole Jr.
Before the green even flew, problems struck for Baker mechanically, forcing him down pit road and ending his night before it truly started.
Off the drop of the green flag, Bentley put the No. 41b entry out front on Lap 3 while Shepherd battled Travis Hallyburton for second as Geniole Jr. came down pit road. The caution then flew two laps later as a result of Morrow getting spun by Thayne Hallyburton. With 31 laps to go, Bentley led Shepherd, Travis Hallyburton, Holdaway, Spencer-Walt, Latimer, Stade, Goetz, Lane Zardo, Billy Zardo, Maltese, Wilkinson and Quesnelle.
The restart brought forth the second caution, with Morrow, Thayne Hallyburton and Gresel getting together in turns three and four. The incident eliminated Hallyburton from competition.
Shepherd got a good restart to put the No. 10s Waste Connections, Peter Shelswell, Cookstown Auto, Puzzle Partner, Truckers Tax, Seasoned Paint and Contracting, Foxes Bakery, HWY 400 Transmission, The Deck Guy, Heartland Kennel, BFI Canada, Desjardins Insurance, Shepherd Trucking, Northway Truck stop, Eric’s Auto Sales, Ink Your Ride and Cabral Racing Promotions Late Model out front ahead of Bentley as Travis Hallyburton and Holdaway battled for third.
Hallyburton got the spot, with both him and Holdaway passed by Bentley for third and fourth. Spencer-Walt kept the train moving, passing Bentley for fifth on Lap 11, followed by Stade passing Bentley for sixth two laps later. Goetz moved into seventh ahead of Bentley, Latimer and Lane Zardo as Billy Zardo battled Wilkinson for 11th. Goetz kept moving to the front, passing Stade for sixth on Lap 17, with Wilkinson clearing Billy Zardo for 11th two laps later.
The third caution then flew on Lap 20 as a result of Quesnelle spinning Maltese in turn four as they battled for 13th. With 15 laps to go, Shepherd led Hallyburton, Holdaway, Spencer-Walt, Goetz, Stade, Bentley, Latimer, Lane Zardo, Wilkinnson, Billy Zardo and Morrow.
The restart saw Shepherd and Hallyburton battle for the lead, with Shepherd clearing him on Lap 22 as Spencer-Walt got alongside Holdaway for third. Meanwhile, Bentley headed down pit road on Lap 23 with a mechanical problem. With 10 laps to go, Spencer-Walt was able to clear Holdaway for third, with Goetz getting alongside for fourth.
Behind them, Stade continued to run sixth ahead of Latimer, Wilkinson, Morrow, Billy Zardo and Lane Zardo. Morrow then passed Wilkinson for eighth on Lap 28, as Lane Zardo got alongside his brother for 10th. Morrow looked to keep moving forward, getting alongside Latimer for seventh with four laps to go, as Billy cleared Lane to keep him behind.
At the front of the field, Gord Shepherd led the rest of the way en route to scoring the victory ahead of Travis Hallyburton, Rick Spencer-Walt, Nick Goetz, and Taylor Holdaway. Joshua Stade finished sixth, followed by Jordan Latimer, Chris Morrow, Mike Wilkinson, and Billy Zardo. Lane Zardo finished 11th, followed by Danny Benedict, Ernie Fumerton, Ron Quesnelle, Kendra Adams, Brittney Gresel, Mike Meyer and Paul Maltese.