ORILLIA, Ont. – August 2, 2016 – A busy tripleheader Saturday night at Sunset Speedway resulted in three podium finishes for ‘Hollywood’ Taylor Holdaway during NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Late Model competition. A make-up feature from a July 9 rainout was added to the regularly scheduled twin 35-lap main events and the night went as well as possible for the Orillia, Ont. driver.
“The whole car is in good shape. The body panels didn’t even get used up that bad,” he commented following 105 laps of racing.
The make-up feature from July 9 was run first and Holdaway lined up sixth based on a carry-over invert from the feature that was completed on that date. He avoided some early beating and banging in front of him, but eventually found his way to the second position.
“We got clear in to second with about 10 to go and (Ryan) Kimball had about half a straightaway lead on us. I was able to get to his back bumper on the last lap, but there weren’t enough laps to get by him,” Holdaway said of his second-place effort.
After a third-place time trial effort to set the stage for the rest of the night, Holdaway was eager to get back to victory lane. However, a broken shock on the pace laps hindered his effort. Not wanting to pit and lose his track position, Holdaway wrestled the car to a third-place finish over 35 laps.
“I drove the whole race with no left-front shock. That was a handful driving down the straightaway and the wheel was just about shaking out of my hand because the left front tire was coming up four inches in the air and slamming down,” Holdaway said. “We were really lucky to finish third in that one. It was definitely the hardest race I had to drive.”
The third-place finish put Holdaway 10th on the starting grid for the final 35-lap race of the night. He had to take evasive action early when Brittany Gresel spun in front of the field.
“I locked (the tires) up and was just able to get off the brakes to turn and go up high to miss her. We were able to miss that one and drove up to second,” Holdaway explained.
From there, the race was reminiscent of last week’s spectacular battle with Chris Morrow.
“He took the bottom this time. He got loose underneath me in to turn one and slid up in to me. I’m not sure how I saved it. I was able to straighten it out and didn’t lose a position, but overheated the rear tires doing so,” Holdaway explained, noting he knew the contact was not intentional on Morrow’s part.
Holdaway took the point lead from Gord Shepherd with his trio of top-three runs and now holds a double-digit advantage with five weeks remaining in the track championship chase. He’s also in the National points conversation again, but will need a few more strong finishes to be among the top three again.
“Wins are all that matter in the National points deal. That’s really where we have to put our focus and make sure we’re prepared going in to these last couple of weeks,” said Holdaway, who has seven wins this season. “Hopefully we can make a push like we did last year towards the top-three in the National deal.”
Holdaway will return to action next Saturday, August 6 with another pair of 35-lap features for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Late Models at Sunset Speedway. Event information is available at www.sunsetspeedway.ca.
Taylor Holdaway 2016 Stats – 17 Starts: 7 Wins, 12 Top-5s, 14 Top-10s
August 6 – NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Sunset Speedway
Taylor Holdway’s 2016 season is supported by Bay Auto and Truck Parts, Holdaway Automotive, Image Factor Motorsports Design and Photography, KartSTART presented by Toyota, Joes Racing Products, Yamaha Motor Canada, Wix Filters, Castrol Canada, Sunshine Super Wash, Hall Tree Farms, Mechanix Wear and Stefko Racing Engines.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media
Photo Attachment: Taylor Holdaway drives his Bay Auto and Truck Parts No.41 Toyota at Sunset Speedway. (Eric Uprichard photo).