Gord Shepherd Sweeps Late Model Features at Sunset Speedway

Gord Shepherd has had the dream season at Sunset Speedway this year, with consistent finishes on a weekly basis. He capped off his 2017 Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Late Model Championship campaign in style, sweeping both features on Saturday night.

Following qualifying, Nick Goetz sat on pole after laying down a time of 15.062 seconds ahead of Gord Shepherd, Paul Maltese, Travis Hallyburton, and Jordan Latimer. Thayne Hallyburton started sixth, followed by Mike Wilkinson, Lane Zardo, Billy Zardo, and Chris Morrow. Ron Quesnelle qualified 11th, followed by Brittney Gresel, Ernie Fumerton, Taylor Holdaway, Al Inglis, Ryan Kimball, Tom Walters, and Kendra Adams.

Goetz jumped out to the early lead ahead of Shepherd, Maltese, Travis Hallyburton and Thayne Hallyburton. Latimer ran sixth, with Lane Zardo and Wilkinson side-by-side for seventh. Wilkinson got the spot on Lap 5 ahead of Zardo, as Billy Zardo battled Morrow for ninth.

Meanwhile, Adams headed down pit road a lap later. She was racing Goetz’s back-up following motor issues with her car. Billy Zardo got the ninth spot on Lap 9, getting alongside his brother Lane for eighth. Billy got the spot two laps later, with Quesnelle passing Lane for 10th on Lap 12. Holdaway would then get alongside Lane for 11th, with Morrow rounding out the top-13.

With 14 laps on the board, Goetz continued to lead ahead of Shepherd, Maltese, Travis Hallyburton, and Thayne Hallyburton. Latimer ran sixth ahead of Wilkinson, Billy Zardo, Quesnelle, and Holdaway. Lane Zardo ran 11th, with Inglis and Morrow side-by-side for 12th. Cars continued to fall out of the event, with Walters going pit side on Lap 20.

On that same lap, Travis Hallyburton got alongside Maltese for third, with Wilkinson alongside Latimer for sixth. Neither attempts at a pass by Hallyburton or Wilkinson worked, though, as they fell back in line with 10 laps to go. Meanwhile, Kimball was the next driver to head pit side that lap

The battles continued on-track with Lane Zardo and Inglis side-by-side for 11th, as Morrow battled Gresel for 13th. Ultimately, Gresel and Morrow would get together in turn three on Lap 29, with Morrow finding the backstretch wall two laps later for the race’s lone caution.

The final restart saw Gord Shepherd and Nick Goetz battle side-by-side for the top spot, with Shepherd clearing him on the white flag lap to take the victory. Paul Maltese placed third, followed by Travis Hallyburton and Jordan Latimer.

Thayne Hallyburton finished sixth, followed by Ron Quesnelle, Mike Wilkinson, Taylor Holdaway, and Al Inglis. Billy Zardo placed 11th, followed by Brittney Gresel, Lane Zardo, Ernie Fumerton, Chris Morrow, Ryan Kimball, Tom Walters, and Kendra Adams.

For the second feature later on that night with the invert in place, Paul Maltese started pole ahead of Travis Hallyburton, Jordan Latimer, Thayne Hallyburton, Billy Zardo, Taylor Holdaway, Mike Wilkinson, Ron Quesnelle, Brittney Gresel, Gord Shepherd, Nick Goetz, Ernie Fumerton, Lane Zardo, Al Inglis, Rick Spencer-Walt, Kendra Adams, and Tom Walters.

The initial start saw a battle for the lead between Paul Maltese and Travis Hallyburton, with Maltese taking the top spot on Lap 2, as Latimer got alongside Hallyburton. Behind them, Billy Zardo moved into fourth with Thayne Hallyburton and Quesnelle in toe. Thayne would get sideways in turn three on Lap 5, resulting in Quesnelle making contact with him. The pair would keep going, with no caution flown by officials.

At the front, Maltese continued to lead with Latimer moving into second ahead of Travis Hallyburton on Lap 7. Zardo ran fourth as Thayne Hallyburton pitted for a flat tire. Behind Zardo, Shepherd got alongside Holdaway for fifth, completing the pass a lap later. Ron Quesnelle then ran side-by-side with Lane Zardo for seventh ahead of Goetz, and Wilkinson. Spencer-Walt ran 11th, followed by Inglis and Fumerton as Gresel and Adams battled for 14th ahead of Walters and Thayne.

Lane Zardo would clear Quesnelle for seventh, bringing Goetz through with him. Goetz then got alongside Zardo on Lap 13, completing the pass a lap later. Quesnelle continued to run ninth as Wilkinson and Spencer-Walt went side-by-side for 10th ahead of Inglis, Fumerton, Gresel, and Walters.

At the halfway mark, Maltese continued to lead ahead of Latimer and Travis Hallyburton, with Shepherd getting alongside Billy Zardo for fourth. Shepherd got by Zardo on Lap 19, with Goetz up to sixth ahead of Holdaway, Lane Zardo, Quesnelle, Spencer-Walt, and Inglis, as Wilkinson and Fumerton battled for 12th. Shepherd continued to move forward, passing Hallyburton on Lap 22 for third. The shuffling also continued further back, with Lane Zardo passing Holdaway for seventh a lap later.

Throughout the field, Latimer had been able to close the gap between him and Maltese, riding the back bumper as he looked for a way by. He would make his move for the lead on Lap 24, taking the top spot a lap later. Shepherd wasn’t far behind, though, passing Maltese for second with six laps to go. Billy Zardo moved up to fourth, as Goetz got alongside Travis Hallyburton for fifth.

The focus was on the lead, though, as Shepherd wasted no time getting alongside Latimer for the lead on Lap 31, completing the pass two laps later to take the top spot. Maltese ran third with Goetz up to fourth, as Travis Hallyburton and Billy Zardo battled for fifth.

Gord Shepherd picked up the feature victory and the championship, ahead of Jordan Latimer, Paul Maltese, Nick Goetz, and Travis Hallyburton. Billy Zardo finished sixth, followed by Taylor Holdaway, Rick Spencer-Walt, Lane Zardo, and Ron Quesnelle. Ernie Fumerton placed 11th, followed by Mike Wilkinson, Brittney Gresel, Thayne Hallyburton, Tom Walters, and Kendra Adams.

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