@GordShepherd10 • @BarrieSpeedway • ORO STATION, ON – It’s safe to say Gord Shepherd has found his rhythm through the final month of the 2014 season. ‘The Smoke’ closed out the Barrie Speedway season winning his 3rd Ltd. Late Model championship – after winning 3 of the final 4 features of the year. Then, Shepherd charged out of the gate in the ‘Playoff Season’, putting together a head-turning runner-up performance at Sunset Speedway’s ‘Velocity 250’ invitational on September 28th.
Now, Shepherd will look to keep his momentum intact, as he turns his attention to the Crown Jewel of Ontario racing – the Peterborough Speedway Autumn Colours Classic – on October 10th, 11th and 12th.
“It all comes down to this weekend,” smiles Shepherd in a recent trip to his team’s Ridge Road Racing shop.
“We’ve had an awesome year,” continues the likeable veteran. “And no matter what happens at ‘the Classic’, we’re going to be happy with 2014. We earned our third championship in four years, and have had some great runs away from Barrie. A strong finish at Peterborough is just a bonus.”
Though successful, ‘The Smoke’s 2014 campaign has been anything but easy. An early season wreck led to the team grappling with setup issues, preceding an inspired late-season comeback that saw Shepherd exit as the Barrie Speedway champion.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had a season where we’ve had to work this hard,” admits Shepherd. “There were a lot of ups and downs, that’s for sure, but I think it’s done a lot of good for this team.”
“These guys have worked their hearts out,” continues the second-generation star. “We came together as a unit this season. The Barrie championship wouldn’t have been possible without every single member of this team. And we’re not ready to stop yet. We’re motivated. We’re hungry. We want to keep winning.”
In addition to his Ltd. Late Model effort, Shepherd will also field an entry in the 114-lap Pro Late Model A Main.
“Running two cars at ‘the Classic’ definitely makes for the busiest weekend on our schedule,” says the veteran. “But, this team is up to the challenge. We’ve got great equipment, and I think the last month has shown how ready we are to get the job done on the big stage.”
“Sunset was the perfect start,” continues Shepherd. “We ran up front all day, against some of the top competition in the province, and we intend on doing the same thing at Peterborough.”
“This is the win we want more than anything. It’s been number one on our list for a long time now, and if we can make it happen this season, it would be an absolute dream. I can’t guarantee what’s going to happen on the track, but I can promise there’s no chance of us getting outworked in the pits”
Details on the 22nd annual Autumn Colours Classic can be found at www.PeterboroughSpeedway.com.
Gord Shepherd’s Ridge Road Racing effort is powered by Progressive Waste Solutions, Shelswell Racing, Puzzle Partner, Cookstown Auto Parts, Montana’s Cookhouse of Orillia, Shepherd Trucking, HWY 400 Transmission, Liberty North, Kruegar Electrical, Seasoned Painting, Checkmate, DesJardins Insurance, Eric’s Car Sales, Fox’s Bakery & Deli, Bill le Boeuf Jewelers and The Dock Guy.
By Spencer Lewis (@itsspencerlewis)