Saturday, September 18, 2021

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Billy Zardo fends off Holdaway in route to victory lane at Sunset Speedway

Taylor Holdaway tried every move that he had, but it wouldn’t be enough as Billy Zardo would fend him off en route to scoring the Late Model feature victory. Zardo becomes the fourth different feature winner this year in scoring his first victory of the season.

 

Jason Witty would win the first heat ahead of Holdaway, Dwayne Baker, Nick Goetz, Dave Bartlett, Brittney Gresel and Mike Weitz.

 

The second heat didn’t start off well as Chris Morrow was hoping to score the victory with starting near the front, though would be sent for a spin virtue of contact from Mike Wilkinson. Zardo instead would grab the win ahead of Dario Capirchio, Mark Gordon, Morrow, Kyle Passer and Wilkinson.

 

Mike Bentley grabbed the win in the final heat ahead of Tom Walters, Travis Hallyburton, Sean Cronan, Mat Box and Ernie Fumerton.

 

Thayne Hallyburton didn’t make the call for qualifying after running into mechanical issues during practice.

 

The b-main would be relatively calm with Mat Box claiming the victory. The Dash for Cash followed the same route with Witty going for daily double ahead of Zardo, Bentley, Holdaway, Walters, Baker, Gordon, Goetz, Cronan and Morrow.

 

Come feature time, Zardo would draw pole ahead of Capirchio, Fumerton, Cronan, Box, Morrow, Walters, Goetz, Witty, Gordon, Baker, Bentley, Travis Hallyburton, Gresel, Bartlett, Weitz, Maltese and Passer.

 

The action started right away as down the frontstretch after grabbing the green, Passer would get turned into the frontstretch wall off of Gresel’s bumper, collecting Maltese with him. The second attempt at a restart was no better as three-wide with Fumerton, Holdaway and Box bottled up the field, resulting in Fumerton getting Morrow and Witty getting collected. Witty, who came in as the points leader, was done for the night with front end damage.

 

The third attempt brought forth some racing action with Zardo getting the advantage in his No. 46 Holmes on Homes, National Exhaust, Big Chute Marina, Round One Transport, Hassell Automotive, Better Contracting, Georgetown Signworks, Smart Screen Gutter Protection Late Model ahead of the field. Holdaway would get by Capirchio for the caution flew once again on lap three for Fumerton stopping in turn two with problems. With 47 laps to go, Zardo led Holdaway, Capirchio, Cronan, Walters, Box, Baker, Gordon, Bentley, Goetz, Hallyburton, Bartlett, Gresel, Maltese, Wilkinson, Morrow and Weitz.

 

Zardo would once again grab the advantage, keeping Holdaway behind him. Holdaway would search for whichever way possible by, high or low, but was unable to pass Zardo for the lead. Meanwhile, behind them, Cronan and Bentley were able to move into the top four as Capirchio fell back through the field with the faster cars coming up through. Capirchio would be back to ninth by lap 15 when the caution flew for Wilkinson going for the spin. With 35 laps to go, Zardo led Holdaway, Cronan, Bentley, Box, Walters, Baker, Morrow, Capirchio, Hallyburton, Goetz and Bartlett.

 

Another restart brought another solid battle for the lead between Zardo and Holdaway, with Zardo able to keep his advantage. Cronan and Bentley solidly kept third and fourth, though Box would start to loose the handle, and as a result fall out of the top five. Walters would crack the top five, with Morrow and Baker in toe. Both were looking for a way by Walters when the yellow flag flew for the fifth caution at lap 26. Bartlett would have a flat tire, causing him to slide up and get into Capirchio. Capirchio went for the slide, though saved the car and kept going, while Bartlett stopped in turn four and drew the flag. With 24 laps to go, Zardo led Holdaway, Cronan, Bentley, Walters, Morrow, Baker, Goetz, Box, Hallyburton, Gordon, Capirchio and Wilkinson.

 

As he had the previous times, Billy Zardo grabbed the lead solidly ahead of Holdaway once again on the restart, maintaining a solid advantage between him and Holdaway. The third generation driver then cruised to victory lane while Taylor Holdaway would post a second place finish. Mike Bentley would grab third from Sean Cronan in the closing laps as Cronan’s tires went away, while Morrow rounded out the top five. Tom Walters finished sixth, followed by Dwayne Baker, Paul Maltese, Nick Goetz, Mat Box and Mark Gordon.

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