Gord Shepherd Caps Off Season with Victory at Sunset Speedway

Gord Shepherd ended his 2018 championship campaign at Sunset Speedway in style, scoring the victory in the Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park feature on the final night.

Dwayne Baker won the first heat ahead of Ron Quesnelle, Ernie Fumerton, Nic Montanari, Rick Spencer-Walt, Billy Zardo, Jason Parker, Marvin Freiburger, Taylor Holdaway, and Al Inglis.

Danny Benedict won the second heat ahead of Gord Shepherd, Nick Goetz, Paul Maltese, T.J. Edwards, Mike Wilkinson, Chris McIssac, Paul Geniole Jr., Jeff Richard, and Lorne Quackenbush.

Billy Zardo won the third heat ahead of Inglis, Quesnelle, Baker, Montanari, Fumerton, Parker, Spencer-Walt, Holdaway, and Freiburger.

Nick Goetz won the fourth heat ahead of Benedict, Wilkinson, Shepherd, Edwards, Maltese, McIssac, Richard, and Quackenbush.

Come feature time, Nic Montanari led the field to green ahead of Ernie Fumerton, Billy Zardo, Gord Shepherd, Ron Quesnelle, Dwayne Baker, Nick Goetz, Danny Benedict, Mike Wilkinson, Paul Maltese, Al Inglis, Chris McIssac, T.J. Edwards, Rick Spencer-Walt, Jason Parker, Marvin Freiburger, Taylor Holdaway, Jeff Richard, and Lorne Quackenbush.

Fumerton grabbed the early advantage with Shepherd alongside Montanari for second. Shepherd got the spot on Lap 2, bringing Baker and Benedict through with him. Shepherd would then get alongside Fumerton for the lead, taking the top spot on Lap 5 as Benedict got alongside Baker for third. Behind them, Zardo ran fifth as Goetz and Quesnelle battled for seventh. Baker would get by Fumerton for second on Lap 7, bringing Benedict through with him to bump Fumerton back to fourth. Zardo continued to run fifth ahead of Goetz, Quesnelle, Wilkinson, and Montanari. Goetz would get alongside Zardo on Lap 11, completing the pass three laps later as Parker battled Montanari for ninth.

The shuffling continued with Benedict getting by Baker for second on Lap 14, as Fumerton continued to run fourth ahead of Goetz. The first caution would then fly two laps later for Quackenbush spinning in turn two. With 44 laps to go, Shephered led Benedict, Baker, Fumerton, Goetz, Zardo, Quesnelle, Wilkinson, Parker, Montanari, Maltese, Spencer-Walt, Holdaway, McIssac, Freiburger, Edwards, Richard, Inglis, and Quackenbush.

The first attempt at a restart saw the yellow flag come back right out as Benedict slowed with a flat right front tire. The second attempt didn’t go either, with Baker deemed as jumping the start. The third attempt was clean, with Shepherd leading Baker, Goetz, and Quesnelle as Fumerton and Zardo battled for fifth. Goetz would move into second on Lap 18 ahead of Baker, with Quesnelle still fourth ahead of Fumerton and Zardo, with Maltese and Parker side-by-side for seventh. Parker got the spot on Lap 21, bringing Wilkinson through with him as Holdaway and Spencer-Walt battled for 10th. Spencer-Walt got the spot initially with 36 laps to go, but Benedict would get alongside him a lap later as he began his charge through the field. Benedict would then get by Maltese for ninth, bringing Spencer-Walt through with as Holdaway rounded out the top-12.

With 29 laps on the board, Wilkinson got alongside Parker for seventh, with Benedict taking them both three-wide a lap later. Benedict would slip by them for the spot, with Wilkinson getting eighth ahead of Parker and Spencer-Walt, as Maltese and Holdaway battled for 11th with Montanari, Freiburger, and Inglis rounding out the field. Maltese held off the challenge for 11th, with Spencer-Walt getting alongside Parker for ninth. Further up the field, Benedict continued his charge with a pass on Zardo for sixth, as Wilkinson ran eighth ahead of Parker and Spencer-Walt with Maltese and Holdaway side-by-side once again. Holdaway would get the spot on Lap 40, with Spencer-Walt back alongside Parker a lap later.

Wilkinson would make his way around Zardo for seventh at Lap 43, with the caution flying two laps later for Edwards going around. With 15 laps to go, Shepherd led Goetz, Baker, Quesnelle, Fumerton, Benedict, Wilkinson, Zardo, Spencer-Walt, Parker, Holdaway, Maltese, Montanari, Freiburger, and Inglis.

Shepherd got a good restart ahead of Goetz, with Quesnelle and Baker side-by-side for third. Quesnelle got the spot ahead of Baker, with Benedict now up to fifth ahead of Zardo, as Fumerton and Parker battled for seventh. Benedict continued to move forward, passing Baker for fourth on Lap 50. The battle for the lead got interesting with 10 laps to go, as Goetz got alongside Shepherd for the top spot ahead of Quesnelle, Benedict, and Baker, with Zardo and Parker side-by-side for sixth, with Fumerton and Spencer-Walt side-by-side for eighth ahead of Wilkinson. Benedict would then get alongside Quesnelle for third with six laps to go, as the others battles continued through the field. The race would be thrown a curveball with the caution flying on the white flag lap for Fumerton spinning around in turn two.

Gord Shepherd got a good final restart to take the victory and championship ahead of Nick Goetz, Danny Benedict, Ron Quesnelle, Dwayne Baker, Rick Spencer-Walt, and Billy Zardo.

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