Making his return behind the wheel this past Qwick Wick OSCAAR Hot Rod season, Bill Zardo Sr. certainly made it memorable for everyone involved.
Starting off the season at Sunset Speedway’s Spring Velocity, Zardo proved he was one of the fastest guys in the field immediately, turning a front row starting spot for the feature into running inside the top-five throughout, battling for a spot on the podium en route to an eventual runner-up finish. He hoped to carry the momentum to Sauble Speedway, but was forced pit side on Lap 5 with mechanical issues and credited with a 23rd.
The necessary repairs were made ahead of the return to Sunset, with Zardo coming out on top in one of his JRS Auctions heats to start second for the feature. He battled back and forth for the lead with Paul Senior through the opening 15 laps, before contact battling for second on Lap 17 relegated him to the tail of the field. He worked his way back forward, rebounding for a ninth.
Unfortunately, the bad luck followed him to Delaware Speedway in July, as he spun out in turn two on the second lap of Friday’s feature fueled by EPIC Racewear, scored 22nd in the final rundown. He returned to the half-mile on Saturday, escaping the big wreck on Lap 6 of the event to rebound for a third. He captured his second heat win of 2022 at Sunset to cap off the month, running inside the top-five of the feature until mechanical issues sent him pit side on Lap 15.
Looking to put the bad luck behind him, Zardo and company made the trek to Peterborough Speedway to start off August. He was fast in qualifying, scoring another heat win to start third for the feature. He quickly moved into second, reeling in Donny Beatty through a bit of lap traffic to take the top spot on Lap 12. The back half of the feature would see no cautions, but rather a clinic put on the veteran. Zardo weaved through traffic left and right, sometimes three-wide, as he battled fellow Canadian Motorsports Hall of Fame inductee Tom Walters for the lead. Ultimately, when the checkered flag, it’d be the No. 46 Dodge Daytona out front with Zardo scoring the feature victory.
Unfortunately, slipping and sliding in the dirt a week later at Brighton Speedway did not go as planned with a 13th-place finish. But he was back in form at Flamboro Speedway, running inside the top-10 throughout the 30-lap feature for a sixth.
Zardo kicked off the final stretch at Delaware, scoring a heat win before out-battling Senior in the opening laps for the lead. He paced the first 10 laps of the event, before sliding back for a sixth. The speed led him to another qualifier victory at Flamboro, and running inside the top-five all feature long despite climbing the backstretch wall on Lap 3 for a fourth. Zardo capped off the year placing second at Peterborough’s Autumn Colours Classic.
While the record books will show the victory at Peterborough in August, and being this year’s Point S Action Tire co-Rookie of the Year, the memories made along the way will shine in the hearts of all OSCAAR fans for years to come.