ORILLIA, Ont. – June 20, 2016 – Taylor Holdaway had to earn every bit of real estate he had and battled to a pair of top-five finishes in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series competition at Sunset Speedway on Friday night.
Racing on a rare Friday night due to Saturday’s NASCAR Whelen Pinty’s Series race at the Stroud oval, Holdaway started fifth for the first of two 35-lap features. Initially the field ran single-file until Holdaway ran alongside Lane Zardo for fourth and took the spot on lap 17.
On lap 24, following a restart on lap 17, Holdaway passed Brittany Gresel for third in turn one, but the two made contact, allowing Gresel to retake the spot on the bottom. As the field got strung out over the final 11 laps, Holdaway settled for fourth while racing on old tires.
“Without the tire doping, the tire strategy comes in to play huge this year. You have to make sure you’re saving tires for the end of the year when it matters,” Holdaway explained.
“We chose to use Friday night as a night where we ran older tires and a bunch of guys put on new tires. We were able to hang on for a top-five in the first feature, which was good.”
Following the invert and a couple of cars dropping to the rear, Holdaway started eighth for the second main event. By the halfway point, Holdaway passed Paul Maltese and Ryan Kimball for fourth and on lap 20 took third from Chris Morrow. At that point he was a straightaway behind the top two cars, Thayne Hallyburton and Cayden Lapcevich, but a lap 24 caution tightened the field.
“We knew we could change something for the second race. We made the right changes and we drove up to the front pretty good,” Holdaway explained.
Holdaway used the restart to pass Hallyburton for second and set out to track down Lapecevich, who led by four car lengths before the final caution on lap 32. Lapcevich chose the outside for the restart, allowing Holdaway to take the lead momentarily.
The two made contact forcing Holdaway to the top lane in turn one with two laps to go. After taking the white flag, Lapcevich again made contact with Holdaway in turn two, sending the No.41 spinning.
A caution, however, after field took the white flag for Kimball’s blown motor ended the race and meant Holdaway retained the second position at the finish.
“The car was really good in the second feature. It’s unfortunate what happened at the end. When you’re racing for a win, it’s a racing deal that happens. It could have been a lot worse,” Holdaway said understandably. “It was a good points night for us with two top-fives. It’s just cosmetic damage again.”
With two weeks until the next NASCAR Whelen All-American Series event at Sunset on July 2, Holdaway will have some extra time to prepare for the next event.
“We could have it back together in a week no problem. With the extra week I think we’re going to build a couple extra sets of bumpers with the way the years been going so we’re prepared in case we get in to it on a short week,” Holdaway said.
“I’m pretty lucky. My dad spends the time that’s needed on the racecar throughout the week to get it ready. The car’s been working pretty well, so we’re in good shape. It’s some minor body repairs and we’ll go over the normal maintenance procedure.”
For more information on the July 2 event, visit www.sunsetspeedway.ca.
Taylor Holdaway 2016 Stats – 9 Starts: 5 Wins, 7 Top-5s, 7 Top-10s
July 2 – NASCAR Whelen All-American Series at Sunset Speedway
Taylor Holdway’s 2016 season is supported by Bay Auto and Truck Parts, Holdaway Automotive, JOES Racing Products, Image Factor Motorsports Design and Photography, KartSTART presented by Toyota, Yamaha Motor Canada, Wix Filters, Castrol Canada, Sunshine Super Wash, and Stefko Racing Engines.
Prepared By Clayton Johns Media
Photo Attachment: Taylor Holdaway races in to turn three at Sunset Speedway. (Eric Uprichard/Image Factor Media photo).