MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — After a rough couple of seasons, Lane Zardo hopes to get back to running up front, committing to Sauble Speedway’s Pro Late Model schedule in 2019.
“My thoughts are just to take it easy, keep everything on-track,” he told SHORT TRACK MUSINGS at the Motorama Custom Car and Motorsports Expo. “The last few years we’ve had a lot of chaos going on our side of the team. I just want to keep everything in control, stay focused on the bigger picture, and do more quality over quantity type racing.”
With hoping to turn their program around, Zardo says the key for 2019 is going to be having a good showing in each race they enter.
“Like I said, the thing the last few years is I feel we haven’t been as competitive as we normally are,” he commented. “I want to be able to bring a racecar to the track just like I used to and be able to compete for the win.”
Although the Sauble Speedway schedule may shorter than others across the province, the competition appears to be second-to-none with several notable other Pro Late Model drivers signing up.
“Actually at the start, I didn’t know if they were going to get that many cars and competitors,” Zardo admitted. “As we’re seeing it come closer to the season, we’re seeing a lot of heavy hitters like APC Champion J.R. Fitzpatrick, Tim Ellis helping that operation, Josh Stade; there’s already a handful of championship winners in the field already. I think as long as we can get 14 or more cars a night, it should be good racing for the fans and fun racing at the beach.”
Outside of Sauble, it is difficult to say at this point whether you will see Zardo running the Pro Late Model anywhere else.
“As far as we know, that’s where the program is going to stand,” he said. “My brother (Billy Zardo) is going to be racing the limited late model across Ontario a few different tracks. He’s going to be going to Sunset (Speedway) a few times, and Jukasa (Motor Speedway) for the big Limited Late Model race. I’m sure he’ll also wind up at Peterborough, too. We may take the Pro Late to Flamboro (Speedway) once or twice just because that’s our home track and it’s a very fun track to run in a pro late model. So you might see the Pro Late Model venture to a few other tracks, but it’ll pretty much be solely based at Sauble.”
“I can’t wait to do that, as that’ll be fun,” Zardo said. “Then my first race in my family owned (Pro Late Model) car will be the Big Z race at Sauble, which is a race for my grandfather. So I’m hoping to have a really good showing for that.”
Zardo got the chance to compete in last year’s Short Track Canadian Nationals in the same car, scoring a ninth-place finish.
“It was fun last year,” he commented. “I felt like we really had a competitive car, and then we put on a different set of tires and just stagger got all messed up so we didn’t get the finish I was hoping for. But every time that I hop into Kenny’s car, it’s such a great car and they just do things so simple, but it works for them. Every time I hop in their car, it’s like I never got out of it and it’s always so fun racing for them.
“The car is ‘ol school cool, and so heavy, and I’ve tried to move that thing out of the way a few times and it hasn’t really worked due to how heavy that thing is. So to be in that car is pretty fun.”