BRAMPTON, ON- For third-generation Late Model competitor Billy Zardo, the 2013 season will forever be known as the turning point of his young career. In those 18 weeks, Zardo earned his first career Late Model victory, sat atop the point standings for the first time and most importantly, moved from a student of the sport to a certified championship contender.
“It felt like 2013 was the season we’ve been working towards since we started in the Limited Late Model division”, explained Zardo. “I’ve been so fortunate to be surrounded by incredible people since my first days in a Go-Kart. Everything we earned last season was a team effort”.
After earning a pair of feature victories and a top-10 finish in the 2013 championship point standings, Billy – alongside his Hall of Fame Grandfather Billy Zardo Sr. – is ready for a strong follow-up in 2014.
“My grandfather is my biggest fan and my greatest influence”, laments ‘Z3’. “He’s been there from the beginning. Everything I’ve learned is because of him. I know he was proud of what we accomplished last season, but as soon as the trailer door closed on the final night of racing, he had a list of what he was looking for us to accomplish in 2014”.
Entering his fourth year of Ltd. Late Model competition, Zardo is blunt and apologetic about his goals for the upcoming season.
“I want to win the Sunset Speedway championship. I believe our team has always had the knowledge and experience; they were just waiting for me to catch up. I’ve gone through my learning curves, I’ve taken my lumps, but I feel as though they’ve made me a better competitor. I’m ready now”.
A championship campaign at Sunset – never an easy feat – will be even more difficult in 2014. The Innisfil, ON facility has shortened its Ltd. Late Model schedule to 10 points paying events, with each feature race extended from 30-laps to 50-laps.
“A 10-race schedule puts a lot of pressure on any team”, reasons Zardo. “You can’t have a bad night. Heck, you can’t have a bad lap. You have to be as close to perfect as possible. Because you know the guy beside you is trying to do the same thing”.
Zardo’s season will begin on May 3rd, with the first annual running of Sunset Speedway’s 100-lap Great Lakes Concrete Spring Derby. Marketing support for ‘Z3’s 2014 campaign will come from Holmes on Homes, National Exhaust, Hassell Automotive, Big Chute Marina, J.A. Towing, Smart Screen and Better Contracting. For more information on Billy and the rest of the Zardo team, be sure to visit the Zardo Racing page on Facebook.
By Spencer Lewis