After having success in the Super Stock ranks at Sunset Speedway, Lane Zardo is set for the next step of his career as he will be running as part of the Sauble Falls Tent and Trailer Park Limited Late Model division on a full-time basis in 2016.
Going into the year, Zardo says the plan is to keep his nose clean through the first half of the year, in hopes for a strong second half of the season.
“My car is built a little bit tougher than most of the other late models, and I have the crate motor,” he told OnPitRoad.com. “So I’m kind of planning on the second half of the season (with) everybody using their equipment up and I have my strong car, and can keep the tires on it to pull through the second half.”
This doesn’t mark Zardo’s first foray in late models, as he has made previous starts, in both pro and limited late model competition, with both motor packages. Zardo’s most recent start came in last year’s season-ending Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway. The ‘Thrillbilly’ made the most of the weekend as he was top qualifier and finished second after challenging Travis Hallyburton in the later stages.
“We were fast at Autumn Colours – but we got lucky,” he admits. “We went over my car and it was bent previously from Sunset. So we fixed that, and made some other modifications to get it closer to the rules.”
He added that the run adds to the confidence, in knowing the caliber of talent that he was racing against, in the form of Hallyburton and 30-time Champion Tom Walters.
Through the past several years, Zardo has been a consistent front runner of the Super Stock division, winning multiple features and picking up a championship in 2011. While the success may add a bit of confidence, he states making the move to Late Model competition brings forth a new atmosphere of racing.
“The risk factor is more, the car is wider, and they handle completely different with the weight difference and slicks,” he explained. “Not so much the speed, but the cornering, you notice it so much more. I mean, it gives me a little bit more of a rush knowing that I was a little dominant in the thunder cars, but it’s such a new challenge.”