ORO STATION, ON – The battle for the 2017 NASCAR Late Model championship will resume at Sunset Speedway this Saturday, July 22nd. At present, multi-time Barrie Speedway titlist – and reigning/defending Sunset Speedway champion – Gord Shepherd tops the standings, with 68-points separating the top-5 drivers jostling for their shot at the proverbial head table at the banquet.
For Shepherd, whose Ridge Road Racing team has become a constant fixture in the championship battle year-after-year, contending for titles is all about unrelenting preparation and commitment.
“We understand that having success on Saturday night is a 7-day process,” explains the multi-time division champion. “When we’re not at the speedway, we’re working on this car. Every night. We’re in the shop going through this thing from nose to tail every week to make sure we can perform at our best on race-day”.
“We unload ready to win,” continues Shepherd. “When everything is already prepared when the trailer door comes down on Saturday morning, it’s a lot easier to make adjustments throughout the day to get faster instead of being unprepared and scrambling to reinvent your setup”.
With fellow multi-time feature winners Nick Goetz, Taylor Holdaway and Travis Hallyburton all looking to close the points gap on Saturday, Shepherd is more than ready for the challenge.
“I know that every guy chasing us is going to say they’re dedicated to winning a championship and they’re more motivated than ever – but so are we,” shrugs the Oro Station, ON racer.
“We want it just as badly as they do. Our equipment is just as strong as their stuff is. The difference-maker is how hard we’re willing to work and how many hours we’re prepared to invest. We know it’s our job to keep staying one step ahead of them for the rest of the season – and that’s what we’re going to do”.
“We’ve all been doing this as a team long enough that we’ve found the rhythm that really works for us,” offers Shepherd. “Every guy with a ‘Ridge Road Racing’ shirt on their back understands what’s at stake.
“The guys understand the role they all play for this team and they know what needs to be done to keep us at the top of the standings. It’s an awesome feeling to be surrounded by a group as dedicated as this one”.