It’s always special when someone reaches victory lane to see the smile on their face as they stand there not only proud of themselves, but proud of their team. Though what happens when a pair of brothers are able to reach victory lane during a weekend? That, my friend, is when the true magic happens as fans witnessed on Saturday and Sunday at Sunset Speedway. Billy Zardo scored the feature victory on Saturday night in his Late Model, while little brother Lane Zardo scored the victory on Sunday night in his Super Stock. It certainly brought forth a lot of smiles over the weekend, though also brought forth perhaps the sweetest moment of the season in the form of a simple brotherly hug.
Okay, enough about the sappiness…..let’s dive into the nitty, gritty and what you need to know heading into this weekend.
Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Late Models
On Saturday night at Sunset Speedway, Billy Zardo’s hard work paid off as he was able to drive the No. 46 Holmes on Homes/National Exhaust/Big Chute Marina Late Model to victory lane at the end of the night. After struggling the first bit of the season, Zardo has certainly turned his season around in posting a string of top five finishes. Keep an eye on Zardo this weekend as he will be one to watch.
Though perhaps another driver to keep an eye on is Taylor Holdaway. Holdaway is looking to become the fourth different driver to reach victory lane this season. He gave Zardo a run for his money all Saturday night as he got alongside, searched high and low across the back bumper to try and find a way by. Could this be the weekend that the No. 41 Holdaway Automotive/ImageFactor.ca/Sunshine Super Wash Late Model reaches victory lane?
On Sunday, Jason Witty got by Matt Box and held off all charges en route to scoring the victory. It marked a great victory for the Witty team after seeing their night end early on Saturday due to a first lap incident. It also allowed the driver of the No. 19 Larue’s Haulage/Carrot Express/Speedy Auto Machine Late Model to bring himself within four points of Dwayne Baker for the points lead, despite having some of the worst luck over the course of July.
Though if Witty wants a championship shot, it’ll be difficult to beat Baker as he has been the king of consistency this season. Interestingly, though, Baker has been off his game slightly lately so keep an eye on the No. 48 Baker Performance Parts/Wild Wing South Barrie/Nissco National Leasing Late Model this weekend.
On Saturday night at Sunset Speedway, Matt Bentley held off Paul Geniole Jr. and Cayden Lapcevich over a series of green-white-checkereds to score his first victory of the season. Bentley has been strong since debuting his new chassis, and no doubt should easily be considered a favourite to score a second victory before the year closes.
Lane Zardo didn’t have Saturday go his way at all as he would blow a motor in his heat. The Zardo Racing crew worked hard and had a new motor installed before the feature that night, though a pair of vice grips getting left on the fuel line would see him go eight laps down and finish near the back of the field. However, like champions do, the 2011 Sunset Speedway Super Stock Champion bounced back and scored the victory on Sunday night after passing Geniole Jr. with 12 laps to go. The driver of the No. 46 Holmes on Homes/Royal Purple/National Exhaust Monte Carlo has shown speed all season long and continues to fight against adversity to keep himself in championship contention. Sitting 16 points behind points leader Randy Rusnell, Zardo will hope to score another victory this weekend to continue his climb.
Notice a theme across the two nights – Paul Geniole Jr. The driver of the No. 81 Canadian Tire/Graham Connor Painting Contractor/Brown Bros Roofing Camaro ran up front both nights and contended for the win. With each week, Geniole Jr. continues to get quicker and no doubt has a good chance at becoming the sixth different driver to reach victory lane in 2014.
Randy Rusnell knows what it takes to win the championship. After all, he comes into this year looking for his third straight. Motor problems saw him have a poor showing on Saturday, but he bounced back with a fourth place finish on Sunday night. Rusnell is going to have to keep that consistency going behind the wheel of his No. 72 Marvin Freiburger & Sons Inc./Travis Industrial Maintenance Ltd./J&K Converters Ltd. Monte Carlo if he is going to hold off the rest of the contenders as he only sits two points ahead of Lapcevich, currently.
Graham Landscape Mini Stocks
Brandon McFerran has been the master of the mini stock division this year. Seven feature victories to date this season, including back-to-back weekend sweeps. Needless to say, the driver of the No. 64 Peter D. Laird/Meisner Construction/Epic Race Wear Mustang has everything going as he would hope to right now. McFerran will look to keep that trend going this weekend.
There have been many challenges to stop his reach to victory lane – including a huge effort from Samantha Shaw. Shaw started off the weekend with a third place finish on Saturday night, before leading 24 of the 25 laps on Sunday to finish second behind McFerran as he got by her on a late race restart. The driver of the No. 81 Lucas Oil Products/Spira Fire Protection Mustang is hoping to reach victory lane this weekend as she looks to score her first feature victory since 2012.
Another driver to watch is Jordan Howse. The rookie has been ultra impressive, turning in top-five finishes on a weekly basis. If he can get out there early and escape the field, the driver of the No. 72 Glenn Windrem Trucking/Finish Line Painting & Restoration/Paul Howse & Associates Mustang may have his first feature victory of his career.
Running mid-pack most of the season, Terry Woodley broke out his shell this past weekend at Sunset Speedway, scoring his first career heat victory before posting a pair of top-sevens in the feature. The pilot of the No. 6 Collingwood Automotive Repair & Service/Nottawasaga Mechanical/Midhurst Pharmacy Nissan 240SX will hope to keep the positive momentum going this weekend.
With the action being second to none the past couple of weeks, right now is the right time to head out to Sunset Speedway and take in the action for yourself. Pit gates open at 2pm, main gates open at 5pm with racing starting at 6:30pm. Full details can be found at http://www.sunsetspeedway.ca.