ORILLIA, ON – This Sunday, the undercard of Fairgrounds Speedway’s All American 400 Super Late Model event will feature a 100-lap Pro Late Model undercard. Judging by the entry list, featuring names like Casey Roderick, Sterling Marlin and John Bolen, the race is expected to draw some of the best Crate Racing talent from across North America.
And, when the field takes the grid on Sunday afternoon, the lone representative from the province of Ontario will be former Sunset Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Taylor Holdaway behind the wheel of his family-owned Holdaway Automotive No. 41.
“Just to have that chance to haul from Orillia to Nashville is an unreal feeling,” notes Holdaway. “If you had asked me about doing this a few years ago, I would have told you there was no chance. Being a part of an event like (the All American 400) just isn’t something that you even consider when you’re at home racing in Ontario.”
“We aren’t pretending that we’re just preparing for any other weekend – because this isn’t just any other normal race,” adds the second-generation standout. “This is the chance to show that we can run up front outside of a weekly division. There’s going to be a ton of attention on (Fairgrounds Speedway @ Nashville) this weekend and I want to make sure we make a strong impression.”
The multi-time Sunset Speedway feature winner elected not to campaign fulltime at the Innisfil, ON oval in 2018, electing instead to prepare and bolster his burgeoning Pro Late Model program instead.
“We wanted to run the Limited Late [Model] as much as we could, but I wasn’t really into the idea of racing for another weekly championship,” explains the Orillia, ON native. “As a team, we want to keep challenging ourselves and keep trying to step out of our comfort zones. That was never going to happen if we just kept going back to Sunset (Speedway) forever.”
“There are a lot of guys back home that are totally fine with racing at the same speedway, in the same division, against the same teams year after year,” continues Holdaway. “They want to win the same championships over and over again. And, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what gets their teams motivated. It’s just not for us. We don’t want that. We want our program to be something more.”
Holdaway’s only other Pro Late Model appearance outside of Ontario came during the 2019 installment of Watermelon Capital Speedway’s Speedfest event last January. The outing resulted in an 18th-place finish against an all-star calibre field and served as a baptism by fire for the fan favourite.
“Speedfest was an eye-opener for sure – but it was an experience from top-to-bottom that made us better,” insists Holdaway. “We’re a lot more prepared for Nashville than we were for Cordele (Speedfest). I know that we can do anything that these other teams can as long as we’re ready and willing to put the work in.”
“Our equipment is good, our team works well together and I’m confident that I can catch on fast. We’re ready to put in the hours and do whatever we have to do for this opportunity to work out for us. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more excited for a single race than I am for this weekend.”