After a solid season last year, Billy Zardo came into this year, looking for more success. Looking back at the season overall, it was a great season.
The third generation driver picked up his first feature win in the first month of racing in a thrilling battle with eventual champion Mike Bentley. Zardo was able to grab the win behind the wheel of his No. 46 Holmes on Homes/National Exhaust/Smart Screen Late Model after a late lap bump-and-run.
“When I won my first feature, the only thing I could think about was that I did it, I finally did it,” he said. “I’m always getting told I’m a great racecar driver, but until I won my first LLM race, I was unsure about myself. I won a lot in the Thunder Car class at Flamboro, but my heart has always been with the late model. Ever since I was young watching my grandfather race, I knew that was the body style and class I love. When I won, it was not as if was weight off my shoulders from my crew, but from myself, as I get so much support from family and crew.”
He then returned to victory lane later in the year in July virtue of a three-wide finish with Scott Beatty and Sean Grosman.
“I had a lot of fun, and I believe I raced as hard as I could,” Zardo said of the season. “I would have liked to finish higher in the points, but we had some problem nights. But all in all, amazing year with amazing drivers.”
Capping off the season with a pair of feature wins, seven top fives and 12 top 10s in 14 nights for his best season to date, culminated in Zardo being presented the Most Improved Driver Award at the banquet.
“Getting Most Improved Driver is quite a big deal for me,” he commented. “It is as it’s called. Not only did you improve from the year before, but it is recognized upon your fellow racers, as well as the track you support every week. It means to me that there is always room to improve and your efforts are shown to many.”
Racing is in the Zardo blood as both Billy’s grandpa and dad have been involved in racing. Zardo started going to races at a young age and since then, has been addicted to it. Starting in go-karts, the success was there right away, including winning Ocktoberfest in 2003.
At the age of 13, his dad bought him a thunder car to race at Flamboro Speedway and as they say, the rest is history as the focus is on the future. Preparations for next year have already began and Zardo is going into the year staying open-minded and prepared.
“I’m planning on running top five next year and win a handful more races,” he said. “Also I am planning to travel more outside the Sunset Schedule. I am looking very forward to next year, as I’m sure everyone is. To get a top 3-5 would be a great thing to accomplish in such an amazing league of drivers.”
In continuing to grow as a driver, Zardo says the biggest lesson he’s learned as is no matter how fast you are, there’s always someone faster.
“Never stop improving yourself and your car,” he added. “I could go out and be wicked fast one weekend, not touch the car all week, then I’m only running mid pack the week after. Always be on your toes. The LLM drivers out of Sunset Speedway are very talented, and if you’re not on your game, you will just get run over.”