ORILLIA, ON – 2015 Sunset Speedway Late Model champion Taylor Holdaway will enter this Saturday’s event with one goal in mind: taking back control of the NASCAR Late Model points standings from current leader – and defending champion – Gord Shepherd.
“We’ve been behind in the standings before and have come back to win a championship,” says Holdaway when asked if his team is concerned entering Saturday’s event sitting 3rd in the division’s points standings.
“Everything is really tight right now. We’re 3rd in the standings but we’re only 11 [points] back and there’s a lot of schedule still left to play out. We just need to take complete advantage of every lap we have between now and September. We can’t get lazy and we can’t lose focus”.
With a pair of 35-lap features ahead of him, the second-generation star is confident that Saturday’s event presents the ideal opportunity to return his Holdaway Automotive-backed No. 41 to the top of the standings.
“11-points isn’t something that’s going to make us pack up our stuff and go home,” shrugs the former NWAAS Provincial champion. “But, we don’t want to lose a step this weekend and have that number get any bigger. Our goal is to come out on Saturday and attack that deficit”.
“We know how good our program can be and we know how capable our equipment is,” adds the Orillia, ON resident. “We’re fast enough to run with – and beat – any of these guys on any given night. We are absolutely able to come out and take back the points lead and hold it for the rest of the season. That’s what we’re ready to do”.
And although fans and insiders alike anticipate an encore of the championship battle waged by Holdaway and Shepherd throughout the 2016 season, Holdaway insists there are far more factors to consider than Gord Shepherd.
“Winning this championship is going to be about a lot more than just beating Gord [Shepherd],” insists Holdaway. “I’d love another chance to battle with Gord all season long, but guys like [Nick] Goetz and [Rick] Walt have had a fantastic start to their year, too”.
“This is such a deep roster that it’s tough to just point to one guy that you need to finish ahead of,” adds ‘Hollywood’. “There are 5 different guys with a legitimate shot to lead the points at mid-season”.
And now, with Gord Shepherd, Nick Goetz and an 11-point shortfall between he and the top of the standings – Holdaway is more ready than ever to assert his place atop the division.
“A win and a podium would go a long way for us this Saturday,” says Holdaway. “We’re at the point now where that needs to be our goal every single weekend. We can’t control what all of these other guys are doing, but we absolutely can control putting in the hours at the shop that we need to and unloading on Saturday being ready and able to take advantage of every opportunity. If we can do that, we’ll be OK”.