Taylor Holdaway races down the backstretch during Limited Late Model competition at Sunset Speedway. (Photo-Eric Uprichard)
By: Clayton Johns/Holdaway Motorsports
September 29 2016
Orillia, Ontario – Taylor Holdaway wrapped up the 2016 season on Sunday at Sunset Speedway’s Velocity Inivitational Weekend. The 75-lap Limited Late Model race headlined the weekend event. Holdaway brought home a 2nd-place finish in his Bay Auto & Truck Parts/Image Factor No.41.
“It was good. I can’t complain. We qualified fourth after two third-place finishes in our heats, which was good. We didn’t put on any new tires for the heat and we managed to salvage two third-place finishes,” Holdaway said of his qualifying effort.
A 12-car inversion draw put Holdaway ninth on the starting grid for the main event.
We started ninth and with the competition that was there, there were so many cars that were so close together, it was really hard to move up through the field,” Holdaway explained.
Initially, the Orillia, Ont. driver took a reserved approach and fell to 13th to conserve his tires before mounting a charge through the field.
“We kind of started to make our way up through the field and we were able to get a couple of cautions that helped. We were able to get on the outside on a couple late restarts and move up from sixth to second,” Holdaway said.
Over the final eight laps, Holdaway tried to track down leader Gord Shepherd, but ran out of time.
“We needed a caution to bunch us back up to see if we had anything for him,” Holdaway said. “All in all, we didn’t put a scratch on the car, so we can’t complain.”
Holdaway had two strong runs in the pair of Sunset Invitationals this season, winning the May long weekend Spring Velocity before the second-place finish this weekend.
“You can’t go wrong with that. You want to win every race you go into, but passing good cars, keeping our nose clean for 75 laps and having a strong car at the end definitely helps us look forward going in to next year knowing we have a strong setup,” Holdaway said.
In all, Holdaway comes away with eight wins at Sunset in 2016 and 17 top-five finishes in his 26 starts.
“If you would have asked me at the start of the year if I would have repeated what I did last year or even won eight races I would have laughed at you. I really can’t complain with the year I had. We had such a strong year. We had a couple bad luck nights, but that’s racing. You can’t go through two years without having any bad luck,” Holdaway said.
While the late season bad luck bit Holdaway’s chances of claiming the track championship, he still successfully defended his NASCAR Whelen All-American Series provincial title.
“We won the provincial championship for the second year in a row, so we can’t look back on this year and be disappointed. We’ve won 23 races in the last two years,” Holdaway said.
After a weekend off, Holdaway will spend Thanksgiving weekend at Peterborough Speedway for the Autumn Colours Classic October 7-9.
“We’re going to take the 44 car and see if we can’t have some fun with it there,” Holdaway said. “It’s the last race of the year and everybody goes for broke on it. You hope that if there is a wreck you can miss it and be there at the end.”
With the Sunset season in the books, but with one more race on the table, Holdaway was quick to thank his sponsors and team for their support.
“I have to thank all my sponsors, my crew and everybody for putting in all the time this year. We still have one more race, so it’s not over yet. We’re definitely using next weekend as a way to go have some fun and take the stress off of points racing.”
For additional event information on the Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough Speedway, visit www.peterboroughspeedway.com.
Taylor Holdaway 2016 Stats – 26 Starts: 8 Wins, 17 Top-5s, 20 Top-10s
October 7-9 – Autumn Colours Classic at Peterborough 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.