ORILLIA, Ont. –– Taylor Holdaway earned an opening night Limited Late Model win at Sunset Speedway and picked-up right where he left off from his 2015 championship season.
Holdaway’s night started with an impressive run in single-car time trials when he timed second fastest. The solid qualifying lap placed him on the outside pole for the first of two 35-lap features. Holdaway ran side-by-side early on with polesitter Gordie Shepherd and eventually took the lead following a 10-lap battle. A long green flag run enabled Holdaway to grow his lead before a caution with 10 to go.
‘The first race was as smooth as you want a race to go. The caution at the end bunched us back up, but the longer the green flag run went, our car was pretty stable and we were able to open up the gap to get the first win of the year. It was nice to do on opening night,” explained Holdaway following the victory.
The standard 14-car invert for the second feature event placed Holdaway in the 14th starting spot. In an early march to the front, Holdaway got pinned in the outside lane of a three-wide battle and made contact with the outside wall. The damage was primarily cosmetic, or so it appeared.
“The front end got moved a little bit and the fuel line ended up touching on the alternator. It took about 15 laps to wear through the protective wrapping around it,” said Holdaway. “By then we made it up to third and that’s when the line wore through and caught on fire.”
Quick-moving track officials extinguished the fire in turn two after Holdaway brought the car to a stop safely. Fortunately, the damage to the Bay Auto & Truck Parts/Image Factor.ca/KartSTART No.41 Toyota was not extensive.
“There’s nothing major. The fire extinguisher residue is pretty messy, but as far as the car goes it’s okay. There’s nothing mechanical, just body work,” explained the Orillia native. “We’re confident going in to the next race. We have a lot of work to do, but we’re going to be ready to go.”
The team is choosing to focus on the success of the opening night win and Holdaway’s ability to drive to third before the fire rather than the DNF.
“Last year started off a lot worse with two DNFs. It seems like we like to work from behind rather than being ahead. It gives us something to strive for,” Holdaway explained.
Twin 35-lap features are on the schedule again for Holdaway’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Late Model on Saturday, May 7. Race time is 4:00pm.
–Taylor Holdaway Press Release
-Photo Credit: Eric Uprichard / Image Factor Media