ORO STATION, ON – Fresh off of back-to-back podium finishes on September 2nd, fan favourite Gord Shepherd is a short two weeks away from clinching his second straight Sunset Speedway title.
When asked of his clutch performance last Saturday, the second-generation racer maintains that each of his outings this season have been motivated by his pursuit of another year spent atop the Sunset standings.
“Championships are built on nights like these,” smiled Shepherd post-race. “You can’t slip at all this late in the year. If you make a mistake, you put your team at a real disadvantage. It’s up to us to make sure our car is as good as it can be every single time we roll onto the speedway.”
Shepherd and his team have been perennial championship contenders for over a decade, and with countless feature wins split between Barrie and Sunset Speedway, the soft-spoken veteran has seen enough to know that no points run is truly over until the last night of competition.
“We’re all committed to this championship,” said ‘The Smoke’ in reference to his Ridge Road Racing outfit. “But we know that a lot can happen between now and the end of the month.”
“There’s two nights to go – and that’s a long time when you’re sitting where we are. Our work isn’t over yet. We’re still grinding and working in the shop trying to outdo the guys chasing us.”
And although Shepherd has spent the bulk of the 2017 season atop the points standings, the veteran insists the quality of his competition is every bit the reason the multi-time champion hasn’t even dreamt of becoming complacent.
“I don’t think there’s a single guy racing for this championship that’s lacking motivation,” shrugs Shepherd. “I’m not sure there’s a division in this province right now that will make you work harder than this one. Nothing is a given. There are eight teams here that can win on any given night – and that’s all the motivation we need.”