ORO-STATION, ON – As Ltd. Late Model racers across the province continue to declare their intentions to campaign for the Inaugural Great Lakes Concrete Series championship – one top-level standout is not in any rush to add dates to his 2018 schedule.
2-time Sunset Speedway Ltd. Late Model champion Gord Shepherd has confirmed his Ridge Road Racing team is unlikely to follow the entirety of the six race mini-series split between Sauble and Sunset speedways, electing instead to focus on once again retaining his weekly division championship for the third consecutive year.
“The way things stand right now – we’re concentrating entirely on defending our [Sunset Speedway] championship again,” explains Shepherd. “If we want to do that the proper way, then there really isn’t much room for side projects or distractions. We want to make sure we dedicate all of our time, our abilities and our resources to becoming 3-time Sunset Speedway champions.”
Shepherd credits Sunset’s ever-deepening roster with necessitating his team’s renewed focus to their craft. “Also raised payouts and the change to some  lap features will help change things up and keep it very Interesting.”
“There was a time – not too long ago – where you could do a little bit of everything and still have success chasing points,” explains ‘The Smoke’. “Look at where we were just five or six years ago. We had team cars, we had a rental program, we were able to do just about every invitational event – and we still chased championships. It’s just not possible to do that anymore.”
“Guys are putting their absolute everything into their weekly programs now – and if you expect to beat them you have to do the same thing. We’re working harder now than we ever have before and it’s simply out of necessity. If you want to be on top you have to be ready to put in the hours.”
However, just because Shepherd isn’t willing to commit to the entirety of the six-race mini-series does not mean the former Autumn Colours Classic champion does not intend to be a presence at select events.
“I’m sure you’ll see us at one or two of their shows,” smiles Shepherd. “I really appreciate what the tracks are trying to build with this series. Any time you can get promoters working together it’s a good thing – so I want to make sure we support it.”
“We’re still sitting down with our team and our sponsors and sorting out what our budget is for this year and how much we can afford to do,” continues the multi-time division champion. “Once we have that in order, we can put together our schedule, and I’m sure the [Great Lakes Concrete] Series will have some dates on it.” We are also looking for more marketing partner’s so we can , Get our Pro Late Model out to some extra [APC] events, If you are interested shoot me a message, Thank you.”