(London, ON) July 4, 2017 – The APC 100 at Delaware Speedway marked Pete Shepherd III first time back in a race car in over four years.
To say that Pete Shepherd III had to battle through some adversity during this Saturday’s APC 100 at Delaware Speedway would be a bit of an understatement. Shepherd seemed strong in practice session number 2, as he ended up posting the fastest track time out of twenty eight cars. After a lengthy rain delay he was able to post a lap time of 18.591 which was a half second improvement from his time in the first practice sesssion. “I was glad that we were able to gain some grip in that session. Our teamed worked extremely hard in the pouring rain to make some improvements and it really paid off.” Shepherd stated.
As the Number 4 National Exhaust car was being pushed through pre-qualifying tech another rainfall broke loose which delayed qualifying for two hours. Shepherd’s practice time put him in the final group for qualifying where he backed up his practice time and wound up eighth on the twenty eight car grid.
“That was the first time I have ever participated in group qualifying! It was a fun experience, I wasn’t able to find much grip, and it seemed as if my tires came in sooner than I anticipated. Either way eighth is a decent starting position!” Shepherd explained.
The green flag dropped at 10pm under the lights at the half-mile facility just outside of London Ontario. Shepherd tried to maintain his position on the outside of row four, but he began to lose positions at around Lap 10. A caution came out at lap twenty five which allowed the #4 to make an unscheduled pit stop where the crew tweaked on the setup and brake bias of the car. When Shepherd came out of the pits he began his hunt to the front of the pack, picking off cars every lap. He settled into a rhythm behind the 89C and they sliced through the pack together. Shepherd worked his way to seventh from twenty-eighth before a caution came out on Lap 96. When the green flag dropped for the final time the #4 National Exhaust car finished in the fifth position when the checkered flag flew.
“That is an un-conventional way to earn a Top Five,” said Shepherd. “I thought when we made that pit stop we may have been asking for trouble, but it was a clean field to race with and we took our time, saved our car, and finished strong. Facing adversity in race number one will do me well, and we will work even harder to be stronger our next time out. I can’t thank my crew and my sponsors enough for getting me back on the track. We will take our results and build on this moving forward!”
Pete Shepherd III’s next race will be the Gold Rush 100 at Flamboro Speedway on August 21st, followed by pulling a double header at Jukasa Speedway August 26 and 27th.