Sunset Speedway May 18th Race Report – Spencer Lewis
Third-generation driver Billy Zardo (No. 46 Holmes on Homes/Hassel Automotive Chevrolet) utilized a last lap ‘bump and run’ on perennial Sunset contender Mike Bentley (No. 51 Lattitude Land Effects Chevrolet) to capture his first ever Late Model win on May 18th.
The Brampton, ON youngster led virtually every circuit of the 30-lap contest, surviving a pair of late-race restarts with Bentley pressuring to make a pass.
With 3 laps remaining, Zardo would relinquish the lead to Bentley, before re-capturing the point position in turn-3 of the final lap, after knocking Bentley out of the groove as the field prepared to exit turn-4 for the checkered flag.
“I was just trying to keep calm”, admitted ‘Z3’ in victory lane when asked about the final 3 laps, “I’ve got a great spotter and a great crew behind the wall. This was just our night to get it done”
“I knew this was going to be our night when we went out for practice this afternoon”, beamed the Brampton, ON driver.
“This class is so competitive – it’s so hard to run in the top-6 – to finally be here [in victory lane] is a dream come true. We worked our butts off on this car!”
Bentley would hold on for a runner-up finish, with Stompin’ Tom Walters, Scott Beatty and Bruce Rankin completing the top-5.
In Super Stock action, defending champion Randy Rusnell (No. 72 Thor Contracting/Marvin Freiburger & Sons Heavy Truck Repair Monte Carlo) extended his winning streak to 3, with a commanding performance, holding off 2011 champion Lane Zardo (No. 46 National Exhaust/Holmes on Homes Monte Carlo) for the victory.
Zardo, Dan Archibald, Dennis Cybalski and Paul Maltese would round out the top-5.
Graham Landscape Ltd. Mini Stock point leader Warren Paxton (No. 33 Georgina Auto Glass/Blue Mountain Honda of Collingwood Civic) would notch his second feature win of the season to close out the show, making a highlight-reel late race pass of defending champion Eric Yorke (No. 51 J & D Tire Sales/McKeon Collision Nissan) and early-leader Steven Belanger (No. 9 Tire Depot Honda) for the victory.
Yorke would follow Paxton across the stripe, with Terry Clodd, Ben Melenhorst and Ken Townsend completing the top-5.
1. Billy ‘Z3’ Zardo Brampton, ON
2. Mike ‘Lights Out’ Bentley Guelph, ON
3. Stompin’ Tom Walters Bradford, ON
4. Scott Beatty Barrie, ON
5. ‘The Hulkster’ Bruce Rankin Mississauga, ON
Heat 1: ‘The Frequent Flyer’ Sean Grosman Golden Beach, FL
Heat 2: Jason ‘Bam Bam’ Witty Queensville, ON
Heat 3: Anthony Simone Holland Landing, ON
Heat 4: Scott Beatty Barrie, ON
1. Randy ‘The Rocket’ Rusnell Cambridge, ON
2. Lane Zardo Brampton, ON
3. Dan Archibald Innisfil, ON
4. Dennis Cybalski Milton, ON
5. Paul Maltese Alcona Beach, ON
Heat 1: Lane Zardo Brampton, ON
Heat 2: ‘The Prodigy’ Cayden Lapcevich Grimsby, ON
Heat 3: Randy ‘The Rocket’ Rusnell Cambridge, ON
Heat 4: ‘The Prodigy’ Cayden Lapcevich Grimsby, ON
1. Warren Paxton Holland Landing, ON
2. Eric Yorke Milton, ON
3. Terry Clodd Holland Landing, ON
4. Ben Melenhorst Stayner, ON
5. Ken Townsend Oro-Medonte, ON
Heat 1: Ben Melenhorst Stayner, ON
Heat 2: Warren Paxton Holland Landing, ON
Heat 3: Ben Melenhorst Stayner, ON
Heat 4: Eric Yorke Milton, ON