ORO STATION, ON – Faced with mounting pressure and a handful of hungry contenders eager to unseat him from the top of the Sunset Speedway points standings – Gord Shepherd waltzed through June 24th’s Late Model Triple Features appearing every bit as the champion that he is.
A feature win and a top-3 performance helped ‘The Smoke’ tighten his grip on the standings as his Ridge Road Racing outfit chases a second consecutive NASCAR Late Model championship.
“We knew coming into tonight what was expected of us,” offered Shepherd post-race. “Having an off night wasn’t an option. I’m so proud of this team on nights like tonight. We unloaded fast, made adjustments to get even better and got the job done”.
And while many drivers bemoaned the task of triple features and the impact the June 24th could have on the 2017 championship picture – Shepherd instead opted to greet the challenge head-on.
“This kind of scheduling can be a gift or a curse depending on how you look at it,” offered the veteran. “We had three opportunities tonight to distance ourselves from the guys chasing us – or three opportunities to lose it all”.
“We’ve always had a lot more interest in looking at the positive side of things, so that’s where our minds were this afternoon”.
But if you thought an impressive performance on Saturday night to influence Shepherd and company to take a week off – think again. The veteran assured us his team will be back in the shop for another string of long nights preparing for July 1st’s event at Sunset.
“The car responded well all night, but there’s still some more work to be done,” says Shepherd. “I mean, any team in this pit area chasing a championship will tell you the same thing”.
“We never feel like our car is absolutely perfect, but we’re definitely happy with where it is right now,” continues the reigning and defending champion.
“This division advances so quickly and the competition is so stout that you don’t have the luxury of taking a week off. You have to be in the shop grinding and working every single night no matter how well you performed on Saturday”.