ORILLIA, ON – Following a captivating back-and-forth battle with eventual Sunset Speedway NASCAR Late Model champion Gord Shepherd in 2016, standout Taylor Holdaway is prepared for another full-time campaign with Ontario’s most talent-laden weekly division.
“Our whole team learned a lot battling with Gord [Shepherd] for the championship last season,” admits the multiple time feature winner. “Those Ridge Road [Racing] guys are veterans. It’s tough to keep them down. Every time it felt like we had them on the ropes, they found a way to battle back. Championships are won and lost in moments like that – and I have all the respect in the world for how those guys conducted themselves last year”
With seven victories and fourteen top-5’s to his credit in 2016, Holdaway’s numbers were nothing if not impressive. However, that doesn’t mean his Holdaway Automotive team have been willing to remain complacent.
“On a week-to-week basis, I would definitely say that our team was happy with our performance in 2016 – but we still went back to the drawing board this winter,” explains Holdaway. “This is still the deepest roster in the province. You have to keep trying to innovate just to stay ahead of the curve. We’ve done a lot of research and made some changes that should only help improve our on-track product”
“You walk up and down the pits at Sunset on a Saturday afternoon and you can count a dozen teams that can win the feature without surprising anyone,” adds the second-generation competitor. “That’s huge. That level of competition is what energizes us. It means a lot to come out on top in a field like that”
When asked his strategy for the season, the former Late Model champion stressed the importance of not only consistency, but also equipment preservation.
“Racing for a championship is always going to be more of a marathon than a sprint,” says Holdaway. “You aren’t going to clinch anything in the first two weeks – but if you come out on opening night, get in over your head and stuff yourself in the fence, then you’re going to have a hard time closing the gap on the teams in front of you”
“We know what we need to do to win a championship in this division,” explains the Orillia, ON native. “We have a standard that we hold ourselves to as a team. There’s a lot of work and a lot of hours that go into this program from one Saturday to the next. It was a huge honor to represent Sunset as its champion in 2015 and we’re more than ready to put in the work needed to get there again this season.”
Taylor Holdaway will kick-start his 2017 championship bid during Sunset’s season opener on Saturday, April 29th. Details can be found at www.SunsetSpeedway.ca.