Gord Shepherd is showcasing why he’s the defending track champion in true fashion as he picked up his fourth feature victory of the 2017 season.
The event wasn’t clean by any means, with a couple cautions throughout for some spins, but familiar faces found their way to the front with ease.
Starting on pole, Shepherd held off the field throughout the entire 35-lap feature en route to scoring the victory. Already boasting a solid points gap entering the night, he has proven to be the most consistent driver this season with just one finish (eighth) outside of the top-five, and this win marking his sixth straight podium finish. While they say the summer is when the points get tougher, it appears the veteran is weathering the storm so far quite well.
That said, Nick Goetz isn’t letting Shepherd get far out of his gasp as he was right on his bumper throughout the feature, looking for a way by in every way possible. Though in the end, he was the runner-up for his 13th top-five of 2017. Oh and like his title rival, he has now posted five straight podium finishes, including a pair of victories. Regardless what happens over the next two months, this year has been a career season for the NG Motorsports driver as the past two years, he had only posted 10 top-fives all year long.
Travis Hallyburton finished third for his seventh top-five of 2017. Going into the year, he was one of the early championship favourites after finishing out last year so strongly. However, rocky results and some incidents over the year, including a wreck in feature one last week, have put him further back than he would’ve preferred.
Rick Spencer-Walt continued his consistency with a fourth-place finish for his 12th top-five of 2017. He has made himself known as a championship contender this year with Shepherd and Goetz, but four finishes outside of the top-10 have certainly hurt him compared to Shepherd’s consistency.
Chris Morrow rounded out the top-five with his eighth top-five of 2017. It’s nice seeing the No. 11 back up front throughout July with six top-nine’s after having four finishes outside of the top-10 in June.
Billy Zardo made his Sunset Speedway return with a sixth-place finish after experiencing a heavy crash on July 8 that left the front of his car heavily damaged. It hasn’t been a good year for the Zardo Racing team, with bad luck plaguing them with mechanical issues and wrecks. So if they can finish the year out strong, it’d be refreshing to see.
Dwayne Baker finished seventh for just his third top-10 in seven starts this season, which is surprising as everybody always expects the No. 48 to be a threat to win each week. Ron Quesnelle finished eighth for just his third top-10 in 11 races this year, with Thayne Hallyburton and Ryan Kimball rounding out the top-10.
Jordan Latimer finished 11th, followed by Ernie Fumerton, Paul Maltese, Brittney Gresel, Mike Wilkinson, Kendra Adams, Al Inglis and Taylor Holdaway. Notably, Holdaway experienced problems, only completing 10 of the 35 laps. It continues the struggle for the usual strong team as it marked their third straight finish outside of the top-10.