BRAMPTON, ON – After scratching and clawing his way through two seasons of bad luck, fan-favourite Billy ‘Z3’ Zardo seems more than ready to shake the proverbial monkey off of his back during Saturday’s season opener for the Sunset Speedway NASCAR Late Models.
“It’s tough to explain,” says Zardo with a grin when asked of his team’s mindset after managing more than their fair share of bad luck over the course of the last two seasons.
“We’re not discouraged, but we definitely spend a lot of time trying to think of what it is that we need to do to get this program moving in a different direction. There’s an answer – we just need to figure it out”
Zardo’s recent efforts have been highlighted by a few bright spots – most notably his three top-5 finishes in 2016 – and the Brampton, ON native insists his team has no plans to forfeit their goals of returning to victory lane at Sunset in favour of easier competition elsewhere.
“We could change our plans and go race somewhere else if we were interested in taking shortcuts to winning again,” shrugs Zardo. “But, that’s not what it’s about. For us, it’s not about just going out and beating guys, it’s about the calibre of the guys you’re beating”
“The competition here is as stout as it could possibly be anywhere in the country. When things change for us – and it will – we want to be running against the toughest guys around”
The ‘Z Team’s sense of family has been well documented by fans and insiders like when referencing the efforts of Billy and younger brother Lane, and the true nature of the team’s close-knit existence is on full display when Billy is asked of what motivates him entering tomorrow night’s opener.
“I look at these guys on this team that haven’t stopped working all off-season and it gets me fired up,” smiles the third-generation racer. “They want it just as bad as I do – and I want to do it for them just as bad as I want to do it for myself”
“This is the furthest thing from a one-man show,” adds Zardo. “This is a team effort every step of the way. All day long, man. We win and lose as a team. I know that we’re going to turn things around – and when we do there isn’t a different group of guys on the planet that I would want standing beside me”
Billy ” Z3 ” Zardo and the rest of the full field of Nascar Whelen Series Late Models, Hit the track for Twin 35’s, Tonight at Sunset Speedway. Get there early for all the pre-race festivities.
Photo credit to ialphotography