HILLSDALE, ON – Fan favourite Travis Hallyburton will enter Saturday’s 50-Lap Limited Late Model event sitting second in Sunset Speedway’s weekly points standings.
‘.50 Cal’ tallied his first win of the season in late-June and hopes that the long-run program that his team has fine-tuned in recent years will be enough to kickstart some much needed momentum as the schedule approaches mid-season.
“We’ve had some real good nights so far this season but we haven’t been able to put together a great night that tells us ‘ok – we’ve got something here’,” explains Hallyburton. “That’s exactly what we’re hoping we can find on Saturday.”
“Our extra-distance stuff has gotten better and better every year. It’s something we’ve put a ton of effort into. I can promise it didn’t happen by accident. I’ve worked on my ability to strategize in long races and we’ve built up a real good setup package, too. I like our chances this Saturday.”
The second extended-distant event of the Sunset season comes as Hallyburton trails current point leader Rick Spencer- Walt by 9-points with multi-time division champion Gord Shepherd just 2-points behind in third place.
“Once you get to the point where you’re near the stop of the standings and you’re competing against the top guys you don’t ever get a week to breathe,” says Hallyburton matter-of-factly. “But, I think that pressure is a huge part of why we all do this. When you’re staying awake at night trying to figure out a way to beat these guys – that’s what makes it feel like you’re really doing something with your team.”
“I had a rough season (in 2018) and I wasn’t anywhere near a points battle because of it – and I can’t tell you how much i missed it,” continues the Hillsdale, ON native. “You hate it when you’re in the middle of it, but you hate it a hell of a lot more when you’re miles away from it.”
While Hallyburton has done his best to shy away from points racing is years past, it seems as though the former Barrie Speedway standout has changed his outlook on the pursuit of a track championship.
“For the longest time I was always the first guy in the pits that would tell you I wasn’t concentrating on the standings – I just wanted to win races and have a good time,” explains Hallyburton. “But, I guess the more you’re in this sport and the more time you spend here (at the speedway), you realize just how hard it is to be in the running for a championship. It doesn’t just happen every season.”
“Our family gives up a ton of time, money and effort to be at the speedway every single Saturday week-in and week-out,” continues Hallyburton. “So, for all of that, it would be nice to come away with a championship and a story that we could tell over beers for the next few years.”
“We’ve built this team up a lot these last few years and I don’t have any doubt that we can win a championship with what we have in our shop right now. That’s our goal this season. So, let’s see what we can do about winning on Saturday night and close that gap on Ricky (Walt) in the (standings).”