Gord Shepherd Sweeps the Night at Sunset Speedway

Despite being challenged by the heavy-weights of the Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Late Model division, Gord Shepherd would sweep the night on Saturday night at Sunset Speedway.

After qualifying, Shepherd started pole in the first 35-lap feature ahead of Nick Goetz, Danny Benedict, Mike Wilkinson, Billy Zardo, Ernie Fumerton, Paul Maltese, Ron Quesnelle, Nic Montanari, Connor James, Chris McIssac, Lorne Quackenbush, and Paul Geniole Jr.

The drop of the green saw a battle for the lead between Shepherd and Goetz, with Shepherd pulling out to the early advantage on Lap 2 ahead of Goetz and Benedict, as Adams and Wilkinson battled for fourth ahead of Zardo, Maltese, Fumerton, and Montanari.

Goetz wasn’t ready to give up yet, though, getting back alongside Shepherd for the lead on Lap 5 ahead of Benedict, Wilkinson, Adams, Zardo, Maltese, Fumerton, and Montanari. Fumerton would then get alongside Maltese for seventh, as Montanari continued to run ninth ahead of Quesnelle, James, and McIssac.

As the leaders were coming around to lap Lorne Quackenbush at Lap 10, they were forced to fall in line, with Shepherd leading Goetz, Benedict, Wilkinson and Adams. The caution would fly a lap later, though, for Maltese slamming the outside turn four wall after getting sideways while being pushed up in the third groove as he battled side-by-side for position. With 25 laps to go, Shepherd led Goetz, Benedict, Wilkinson, Adams, Zardo, Fumerton, Montanari, Quesnelle, James, McIssac, and Quakenbush.

Shepherd and Goetz would battle side-by-side for the lead on the restart, with Shepherd getting the top spot on Lap 15. Benedict ran third ahead of Wilkinson, Adams and Zardo, as Fumerton got alongside Zardo for sixth at the halfway mark ahead of Montanari. The battles continued around the track as Quesnelle got alongside Montanari for eighth a lap later ahead of James.

The battle for the lead wasn’t done either, with Goetz getting back alongside Shepherd on Lap 19 ahead of Benedict, Wilkinson, Adams, Fumerton, Zardo, Montanari, Quesnelle, James, McIssac, and Quackenbush. Though once again lap traffic came into play for the leaders, as lapping Quackenbush once again allowed Shepherd to move ahead of Goetz two laps later.

The pair didn’t stay single-file long, though, with Goetz back alongside with 10 laps to go ahead of Benedict, Wilkinson, Adams and Fumerton as Zardo headed down pit road on Lap 26. Montanari moved up to seventh ahead of Quesnelle, James, McIssac, and Quackenbush.

The leaders would go single-file once again lapping McIssac, but then got right back to their battle. The side-by-side racing lasted right down to the checkered flag, with Gord Shepherd edging Nick Goetz at the line for the victory. Danny Benedict finished third, followed by Mike Wilkinson, Kendra Adams, Ernie Fumerton, Nic Montanari, Ron Quesnelle, Connor James, Chris McIssac, Lorne Quackenbush, Billy Zardo, Paul Maltese, and Paul Geniole Jr.

The second feature saw Kendra Adams started on pole ahead of Ernie Fumerton, Ron Quesnelle, Nic Montanari, Danny Benedict, Lorne Quackenbush, Mike Wilkinson, Connor James, Nick Goetz, Gord Shepherd, Chris McIssac, and Paul Maltese.

The start saw a battle for the lead with Adams and Fumerton, with Fumerton leading the first lap ahead of Adams as Quesnelle and Montanari ran side-by-side for third ahead of Benedict, with Wilkinson and James side-by-side for sixth. Wilkinson got the spot on Lap 3, with Goetz and Shepherd following him through as  Goetz challenged Wilkinson for sixth a lap later.

Quesnelle got the third spot on Lap 5, with Benedict, Goetz, and Shepherd following him through over the next three laps. Benedict would then get alongside Quesnelle for third at Lap 10 ahead of Goetz, Shepherd, Wilkinson, Montanari, James, Maltese, and McIssac. Shepherd got alongside Goetz for fifth at Lap 13, with Quesnelle keeping Benedict behind him for third.

With Shepherd and Goetz stuck side-by-side behind Benedict, both drivers were trying to find a way by. Goetz dove for the bottom entering turn one, but there wasn’t enough room, resulting in him spinning around for the caution at Lap 14.

Fumerton got a good restart to keep Benedict at bay, as Adams and Quesnelle battled for third. however, the caution came right back out on Lap 16 as Goetz got into James, resulting in both James and Montanari going around for a spin.

Benedict got a good restart to take the lead ahead of Fumerton, as Shepherd got alongside Quesnelle for third. Shepherd easily got the spot, getting alongside Fumerton for second at Lap 18. He’d move into the spot a lap later, bumping Fumerton back to third ahead of Quesnelle, Adams and Wilkinson as Montanari and Goetz ran side-by-side for seventh ahead of Maltese, James and McIssac.

The battle for fifth got interesting on Lap 22, with Wilkinson tagging Adams going into turn three. She managed to hang on to it, which then allowed Goetz to challenge Wilkinson for sixth on Lap 24. Goetz then get by, allowing Wilkinson to get alongside Adams for fifth with 10 laps to go.

At the front of the field, Shepherd tracked down Benedict for the lead, getting alongside him on Lap 26 as Fumerton ran third ahead of Quesnelle, Wilkinson, Goetz, Adams, Montanari, Maltese, James, McIssac, and Quackenbush. Shepherd would get ahead with four laps to go, with Benedict attempting to make the crossover, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Gord Shepherd took the victory ahead of Danny Benedict, Ernie Fumerton, Ron Quesnelle, Mike Wilkinson, Nick Goetz, Kendra Adams, Nic Montanari, Paul Maltese, Connor James, Chris McIssac, and Lorne Quackenbush.

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