ORO STATION, ON – Reigning and defending NASCAR Late Model champion Gord Shepherd will enter this Saturday’s NWAAS event atop the early-season points standings. However, despite his success through the first month of the season, the multi-time Barrie Speedway champion is well aware of the long road ahead.
“We’re proud of what we’ve been able to do so far – but we’re only getting started,” says Shepherd from his team’s Ridge Road Racing shop. “It’s not enough to put together a win or two, take the points lead and then kick your feet up and relax. We can’t stop working”
Shepherd and team debuted their current ride – a 2016 Hamke – at the beginning of last season and have since worked feverishly to develop a setup combination to their liking. And, while they’ve certainly made headway, ‘The Smoke’ sees greater potential in their operation.
“No one has seen how good this car can be,” offers the former Velocity 250 winner. “We started from scratch with this in terms of what works and what doesn’t. Junior [Hanley] has been such an incredible help with our program and helping us find our footing with a new car. But, we’re only scratching the surface, we have a long way to go with it”
Contending against one of Ontario’s deepest weekly division each Saturday is no small feat. And for Shepherd, each accomplishment earned is treated like a badge of honour.
“Racing here doesn’t get any easier,” explains the fan favourite. “Every team gets better, every driver gets sharper, every race we enter is going to be tougher than the one before it. So, leading the points at any time in the season is a big accomplishment”
“We’re very proud of being where we are. With the level of talent that runs in this division, these podiums and wins don’t ever come easy. When you can earn one, you’re instantly reminded of how much work goes into running at the front against these teams.”