Gord Shepherd Becomes Fourth Different Late Model Feature Winner of 2018

The Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Late Models are proving to have some of the best competition at Sunset Speedway, as Gord Shepherd became the fourth different driver to reach victory lane this season on Saturday night.

In time trials, it’d be Nick Goetz setting the quick time with a lap of 14.660 seconds ahead of Gord Shepherd (14.73), Jordan Lawrence (14.73), Travis Hallyburton (14.75), and Danny Benedict (14.77). Dwayne Baker time trialed sixth quickest, followed by Ron Quesnelle, Thayne Hallyburton, Mike Wilkinson, and Connor James. Billy Zardo was 11th, followed by Paul Maltese, Taylor Holdaway, Ernie Fumerton, Al Inglis, Jordan Latimer, Kendra Adams, and Nic Montanari.

When it came to lining up the feature on-track, though, post-qualifying technical inspection played a factor, though, as the line-up was shuffled big time. Shepherd started pole ahead of Benedict, Quesnelle, Wilkinson, James, Maltese, Zardo, Holdaway, Fumerton, Inglis, Latimer, Adams, Montanari, Goetz in Lawrence’s car, and Chad Corcoran.

Shepherd would break out into the early lead ahead of Benedict, Quesnelle and Wilkinson, with James and Maltese side-by-side for fifth. Behind them, Holdaway and Zardo ran side-by-side for seventh ahead of Inglis and Fumerton. The battles continued through the field with Goetz and Latimer side-by-side for 10th ahead of Adams.

James would get the fifth spot on Lap 6, with Zardo getting alongside Maltese for sixth. Zardo was unable to complete the pass, instead allowing Holdaway to get back alongside him for seventh. The first caution then flew at Lap 8 for Latimer slowing in turn two with a flat tire following contact with Goetz.

Shepherd got a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Benedict, as Quesnelle and Wilkinson battled for third, but the caution flew once again for Latimer spinning Goetz in turn four. Initially, the black flag was given to Latimer for the contact, but then it was withdrawn by the officials.

Shepherd got another good restart ahead of Benedict, with the battle for third resuming ahead of James and Maltese battling for fifth. Benedict was then able to get alongside Shepherd for the lead at Lap 10, as Wilkinson took over third, with Maltese alongside Quesnelle for fourth. Holdaway ran fifth ahead of James and Fumerton, as Zardo and Inglis battled for eighth.

Quesnelle would hold off Maltese, clearing him on Lap 16, with the caution flying the next lap for Zardo and Adams getting together. With half of the laps complete, Shepherd led Benedict, Wilkinson, Quesnelle, Maltese, Holdaway, James, Fumerton, Inglis, Latimer, Corcoran, Montanari, Goetz, and Adams.

Shepherd got a good restart to keep the lead ahead of Benedict, as Quesnelle and Wilkinson once again battled for third ahead of Holdaway. Behind them, it’d be Maltese and Fumerton side-by-side for sixth, with Fumerton getting the spot on Lap 18. Quesnelle was able to snag third a lap later, with Holdaway grabbing fourth ahead of Wilkinson, Maltese and Fumerton. Latimer would get by James for eighth, getting alongside Maltese for seventh at Lap 22. James now ran ninth ahead of Goetz, Corcoran, Inglis, and Montanari.

Holdaway would continue his charge forward, getting alongside Quesnelle for third, with slight contact between the pair as he did so. This wouldn’t work in Holdaway’s favor, as he was unable to complete the pass.

At the front of the field, Benedict was able to get alongside Shepherd for the lead, with Quesnelle running third ahead of Holdaway and Wilkinson as Adams headed down pit road on Lap 28. Maltese now ran sixth ahead of Latimer, as Goetz battled James for eighth. Goetz got the spot, getting alongside Latimer for seventh at Lap 30, completing the pass two laps later. James was then able to follow suit, grabbing eighth with two laps to go.

Battling side-by-side for the final eight laps of the feature, it’d be Gord Shepherd edging out Danny Benedict at the line for the win. Ron Quesnelle finished third, followed by Taylor Holdaway and Mike Wilkinson. Paul Maltese finished sixth, followed by Nick Goetz, Connor James, Jordan Latimer, and Ernie Fumerton.

Chad Corcoran finished 11th, followed by Al Inglis, Nic Montanari, Kendra Adams, and Billy Zardo.

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