BRAMPTON, ON – With mere days remaining until the biggest Pro Late Model event of the 2019 season, third-generation racer Billy Zardo can’t help but wonder what could happen if his family-run operation could outrun some of the best teams in North America in the second ever running of Jukasa Motor Speedway’s Canadian Short Track Nationals.
“The more we think about and talk about this race, the more you feel the intensity start to ramp up,” explains Zardo. “This might be the biggest event I ever race in.”
“I was in the stands for the first one and the energy is unlike anything else I’ve ever felt. This race is a huge deal and I’m so excited to have the chance to compete this year.”
The Brampton, ON racer joins an entry list of over 50 competitors from coast to coast – representing states, provinces, tours and sanctioning bodies all across North America – and will look to pull off an upset with what he admits could be the most modestly funded outfit in the pit area once Friday morning’s practice begins.
“We might be more than a little outgunned when it comes to some of the ‘extras’ that these other guys have,” offers the soft-spoken competitor.
“I’m hearing about guys that are coming out with fulltime help and cars that were built just for this race. We don’t have that. We have a crew of volunteers and an older car – but we have the work ethic to get the absolute most out of our stuff. I’m hoping that’s going to be the difference-maker.”
With a laundry list of elite-level talent ready to descend on ‘Canada’s Crown Jewel’, Zardo understands just how imperative it will be for his team to operate at their best from one end of the weekend to the other.
“If we want to have any kind of success in this event we need to make sure we put together a complete weekend,” says ‘Z3’. “I just don’t think it’s possible to dig yourself a hole against a field like this and then have time to work your way out of it. You’re up against too much talent.”
“If we can qualify strong and lock ourselves in after time trials then I know we have a piece that can race well,” continues Zardo. “We’d shock a lot of people just by qualifying for the (A-Main). I believe in myself and my team. I know that we can do it – I just understand that a lot has to fall our way for that to happen.”