ORILLIA, ON – Former NASCAR Late Model champion Taylor Holdaway continued his campaign for a second career Sunset Speedway title this past weekend, as his Holdaway Automotive-backed team earned a July 1st victory to pull within 19-points of current leader Gord Shepherd.
“This division, with all the talent in it, is always going to be built on ‘what have you done lately’ – but that’s especially true when you’re chasing points,” notes Holdaway. “We know that we need to be on top of our program and elevating every weekend to find ways to keep winning. It’s something we expect of ourselves”.
And while Holdaway’s professional rivalry with reigning and defending champion Shepherd is entering its second full season, ‘Hollywood’ can’t find a cross word to say about his perennial opponent.
“As hard as we race each other – I can’t say a single bad thing about Gord and his team,” insists Holdaway. “I have nothing but respect for that program. I really admire Gord as a racer because he’s such a professional. He doesn’t make many mistakes. If you’re racing him for a championship, he’s not going to hand over a ‘gimme’ night where he just shoots himself in the foot with a bad finish. He’s out there to be at his best every night, so if you want to beat him you need to carry that same mindset”.
This Saturday, Holdaway will unload at Sunset sitting 2nd in NASCAR Late Model standings – just one of five drivers within 46-points of the lead. When asked of the mid-season parity, Holdaway notes the unique makeup of the present points standings is far from lost on him.
“There wasn’t a single moment where I came into this season thinking ‘it’s going to be Gord vs. Taylor’ for the championship,” says the Orillia, ON product, “but, I have to admit, I’ve been surprised with just how crowded and tight it is at the top of the standings”.
“I think it’s awesome for the division to have Myself and Gord and [Nick] Goetz and [Rick] Walt and Travis [Hallyburton] all within range of the lead right now,” adds Holdaway. “It makes for an exciting atmosphere every Saturday. You have no idea what the standings are going to look like from week-to-week and that’s compelling all on its own”.
Holdaway has looked at his best in recent weeks and, as the season reaches its fevered pitch, it would seem as though his family-owned team is ready to hit a new high as they continue to push for their second championship in three years.
“We’re always working and we’re always looking for something,” explains the 2015 Sunset Speedway champion. “Because of that, we’ve made some really important changes in the last two weeks that I feel have really woken us up. Saturday was a big run for us, but I’m ready to be even better this weekend”.
“This team is hitting its stride now. We’ve got the momentum we need on our side and we’re coming for the points lead. I think the points are about to get even tighter in the second half of the season and I’m excited to see just where we can stack up”.