BRAMPTON, ON – After having struggled through the Sunset Speedway weekly season in 2017, few could blame Lane Zardo for being more than ready for a change of pace.
With his sputtering Ltd. Late Model program and its myriad of mechanical woes outside of his peripheral for the time being, Zardo’s Shelby Roofing-supported team is reading for Jukasa Motor Speedway’s Fall Brawl on Saturday, September 23rd.
“It took awhile to put this deal together but I couldn’t be happier that we found a way to make it happen,” explains Zardo. “I’ve wanted to race at Jukasa my whole life. I was at the [APC United Late Model Series] race in August and was blown away by the atmosphere. I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
The Fall Brawl event will be contested as an unsanctioned Pro Late Model invitational, with Zardo stepping behind the wheel of the same McColl Racing Enterprises entry that national star Alex Labbe impressed with in his Jukasa appearance last month.
The race has drawn the interest of elite-level talent from across Ontario, with Zardo’s cousin Pete Shepherd III becoming one of the first ‘heavy hitters’ to file entry weeks ago.
“I know that I’m in good hands being behind the wheel of a [McColl Racing Enterprises] house car,” notes ‘The Thrillbilly’. “Mike [McColl] and his team work real hard to make sure their product is one of the best out there and I’m really looking forward to working with them.”
“Having the opportunity to compete against Petey [Shepherd III] is going to be a career highlight for me,” continues Zardo. “He’s my idol. Always has been. I want to be like him. I’ve never had a chance to race against him before, so I can’t even explain how excited I am to test my skills against is. He’s always been the high water mark for me as a competitor.”
While Zardo is quick to note that his team has struggled in their pursuit of Saturday night success at Sunset, he maintains a belief that they can perform at the highest level on Saturday.
“Our weekly program just hasn’t been good enough this year,” admits Zardo. “We’ve had mechanical issues almost since day-1 and they’ve grounded us for almost the entire season. I think a change in scenery and a change of equipment is going to do a lot of good for us.”
“I know there’s going to be a stacked field waiting for us when we get there,” adds the third-generation racer, “but it really doesn’t worry me. I’ve raced a lot of these guys in other divisions and at other speedways. I feel like I always perform well when I’m racing outside of my comfort zone, so I’m confident I’ll be able to impressive some people on Saturday, finish strong and bring the car home in one piece.”