Gord ‘The Smoke’ Shepherd
Former Barrie Speedway champion Gord Shepherd has relied on unflappable consistency for much of the 2016 season to turn himself into a certified contender for this year’s Sunset Speedway NASCAR Late Model championship. Alongside reigning champion – and current point leader – Taylor Holdaway, Shepherd has become one half of the most compelling championship battle that Sunset’s headline division has seen in several seasons. This Saturday, Shepherd will enter the evening’s double 35-lap feature events a mere 11-points behind Holdaway. With a lot on the line, and only three nights remaining, Shepherd is tasked with having to pull out a pair of big performances to remain in the hunt for his first career Sunset title.
Late Model veteran turned Super Stock natural Glen Schnurr will be back behind the wheel at Sauble Speedway for the first time in almost a month this weekend. With racing scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, the Owen Sound, ON native will have ample opportunity to park his Legger’s Race Shop No. 20 in victory lane for the first time this season. ‘The Beach’ has become a venerable breeding ground for young Thunder Car talent, with names like Jake Zevenbergen and Zack Casemore having ascended the ranks this season, Schnurr provides a compelling veteran presence at the front of the field.
13-year old sophomore Dustyn Mombourquette turned heads with a top-6 qualifying run during Super Stock time trials at Sunset Speedway last Saturday. Unfortunately, for Dustyn, an early-race spin kept his No. 6M from finishing at the front of the field – though his admirable time trialing effort did showcase a glimmer of what kind of potential the sophomore possesses. Dustyn hopes to earn a first career top-10 before his second full season is at a close. And, if he can continue qualifying the way he did last Saturday, he has a fighting chance of being at the front of the field with some of the province’s best
Former Karting star Darren Dryden has proven to be a quick study when it comes to the Lucas Oil TQ Cam-Am Midgets. Dryden earned a podium finish on home soil at Flamboro Speedway last Saturday, and will hit the road with his EPIC Racewear No. 12 this Saturday for a return visit to Sauble Speedway. Dryden currently sits 5th in series’ points, but could certainly catch veteran Rob Neely in 4th with a big performance at ‘the Beach’.
Lane “The Thrillbilly” Zardo
‘The Thrillbilly’ notched his first career Sunset Speedway NASCAR Late Model victory in his most recent appearance on August 20th. This Saturday, the Brampton, ON native will have his first chance to show the rest of the division that his breakthrough win was far from a fluke. The former Super Stock champion has shown flashes of brilliance all season long, but has found himself grounded time and again due to mechanical failures and on-track altercations. The potential is there – of that there is no doubt – and if Zardo can keep his familiar No. 46 pointed in the right direction on Saturday, he could certainly fashion a performance to remind the Sunset faithful of exactly what he’s capable of.
In the midst of his strongest OSCAAR Super Late Model Tour ever, veteran campaigner Roy Passer will return to the scene of his first career series victory this Saturday – Peterborough Speedway. The Jenco Equipment-backed wheelman has been on a tear as of late, accruing podium finishes left and right in addition to his recent trip to victory lane. OSCAAR currently finds itself in the midst of a transitional season, which has given ideal opportunity for Passer to step up and assert himself as a driver to keep an eye on at every stop the tour has hit in 2016. If the Innisfil, ON native can put together a performance near as strong as he was in his last Peterborough start on July 30th, he could very well roll out as a two-time series winner at the end of the evening.
The Alliston, ON rookie has set Sunset Speedway’s MIGHTY Division on fire this season, although he’s recently found himself mired in his first batch of bad luck. A last-lap incident with fellow rising star Dylan Holmes and a blown motor in his last two starts have Paradzinski on his heels for the first time in his young career. This Saturday, he needs to reassert himself as the dominant figure in the maturing division. What’s the best way to do that? A return trip to victory lane. Refocused, and with a fresh power-plant, watch for the No. 4 this weekend.