ORO STATION, ON – Already in the midst of a commanding 2017 season that has seen his No. 10 win 5 features and finish inside of the top-10 in all 20 of his starts, Sunset Speedway Ltd. Late Model point leader Gord Shepherd has now climbed to 3rd overall in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national standings.
The most recent standings have Shepherd trailing current NWAAS leader (and West Coast powerhouse) Trevor Huddleston and former NWAAS champion Lee Pulliam as he vies for his first career national title.
‘’A national championship is something that I think every team at this level dreams about winning,’’ admits Shepherd. ‘’We’re no different. We understand just how much that means.”
“We’ve been racing under the NASCAR [Whelen All-American Series] banner for a long time,” continues the fan favourite. “We know all about what guys like Phillip Morris and Keith Rocco and Lee Pulliam have accomplished. These are the best weekly racers in North America. So just being in the hunt to win the same championship that they have reminds us of how strong our season has been.”
For Shepherd’s Ridge Road Racing outfit, their 2017 campaign is the byproduct of a team that has worked tirelessly over the last ten seasons to continue to reinvent themselves and stay motivated amidst one of the most rabidly competitive division in Ontario.
‘’We’ve all been racing together as a team for more than a decade but it feels like we’re just started to hit a new level this year,’’ explains ‘The Smoke’. “All the experience we’ve had as a group and everything we’ve been through these last few seasons has helped us to keep growing.”
“We’re better now than we’ve ever been. You’re never too old to improve. We’ve had a fantastic few seasons but we’re still working to keep growing and hit that next level.”
However, despite his on-track prowess, Shepherd knows his team’s greatest asset is his ‘cool under pressure’ approach to competition – which is something he intends to keep hold of as he continues to race for both a local and national championship.
“We need to put in the nights at the shop and make sure that we keep from making any mistakes on race day. We want to defend our Sunset championship and contend for the [NWAAS] title, but we can’t do that if we’re distracted.”