Connect with us

Pro All Stars Series

Shaw Contrite After Contact Leads To PASS Oxford Win

Shaw’s third PASS win of 2022 came under a dark cloud, after he and Joey Doiron made late-race contact that ended Doiron’s bid for victory.

DJ Shaw parked in the winner's circle Saturday night, but the racer was none too pleased with his third PASS North win of 2022 after contact handed him the victory. (Photo courtesy O.L. Photos/Oriana Lovell

DJ Shaw’s winning ways continued in Maine on Saturday night, but this time, victory came with a cost.

The five-time Pro All Stars Series North champion led the final eleven laps around Oxford Plains Speedway to win his third PASS North feature of 2022 in the Spencer Group Paving, LLC 150.

It was contact with Joey Doiron, though, that cleared Shaw’s path to victory lane.

It was contact that Shaw visibly regretted as he climbed from his car to a chorus of boos.

Saturday’s race was the last PASS North feature of the year before the 49th annual Oxford 250, one final opportunity for racers to test changes to their cars and find long-run speed in anticipation of the biggest Super Late Model race in the Northeast.

Making the most of the opportunity was Trevor Sanborn, who set a torrid pace in the early stages of the 150-lap feature. His place in the Oxford 250 secure thanks to a provisional berth earned through the track’s midsummer Triple Crown series, Sanborn led the first 95 laps handily.

Electrical mayhem doomed Sanborn’s run, though, as the car shut off under green. Ben Ashline assumed the top spot as Sanborn climbed from his car 55 laps too early. Ashline, who got a late start to his touring season, put his Ajay Picard-owned entry out front while battling Doiron for the top spot. Shaw, meanwhile, drove back from early contact to climb into the top three.

A late caution staged Doiron door-to-door with Ashline for a late restart, and after a brief duel, Doiron pulled ahead and into the lead. Shaw used the low line to get around Ashline for second, then set off after his friend. For a few laps, it appeared fans were in for a repeat of the previous night’s Granite State Pro Stock Series bout at Claremont Motorsports Park, where Doiron topped Shaw to win his second GSPSS feature of the year.

Shaw caught Doiron, though, and suddenly a reversal seemed more likely than a repeat. Doiron defended the inside, forcing Shaw to look outside for a line around the leader. Shaw kept his pressure on the high side, but with eleven laps left, he ducked to the inside off turn two, his momentum carrying him halfway to Doiron’s left door.

Doiron tried to defend the lead, but the two made contact, with Doiron spinning up the track and Shaw driving through with the race lead. Doiron’s car was undamaged, but after rejoining the field at the tail, he opted not to continue, sparing his car for the big race.

Shaw went on to win the race, with Ashline finishing a season-best second.

Gabe Brown’s strong season continued with a third-place finish, matching his run at Claremont the night before. Max Cookson, a winning rookie in Oxford’s weekly Super Late Model ranks, drove a stellar race to finish fourth. Seven-time PASS North champ Johnny Clark was fifth at the line.

Two-time Oxford weekly champion Dave Farrington, Jr. was sixth, with Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. a career-best seventh. Dan Winter cast off the struggles of his second full PASS North season to finish eighth, while Joey Polewarczyk and PASS points leader Ryan Kuhn rounded out the top ten.

Maine racing legend Mike Rowe, a few days shy of his 72nd birthday, finished 12th after a late flat tire in his first PASS start of 2022.

Title contenders Eddie MacDonald and Brandon Barker were 13th and 14th in a race that was heavily affected by attrition. Doiron, who did not return to the track after his spin, was scored 21st.

Thirty-three cars attempted to qualify, with only Austin Teras not taking the green flag after heats. While down from the car counts at other Oxford features, the risk of setting preparation back with an ill-timed wreck two weeks from the Oxford 250 was likely cause enough for teams to keep their cars at home.

Doiron was fortunate to dodge that fate.

The contact between the two racers, while shocking in the moment, is easy to brush off as merely incidental. Doiron and Shaw have a strong relationship both at and away from the track. Doiron has run Dale Shaw Race Cars chassis through almost all of his stock car career. Doiron is part of Shaw’s close circle, having stepped in as crew chief or spotter for Shaw and his customers when not racing himself. Doiron and Shaw are both strategic racers, rarely resorting to contact to take a win.

One night before, Doiron led a podium sweep for Shaw-built cars at Claremont, with Shaw finishing second and Gabe Brown third in a clean battle to the finish. Incidentally, Doiron was not in his Shaw car Saturday night, racing instead for car owner Greg Curtis and GT Motorsports.

Indeed, Shaw was contrite after the race, with social media reports confirming the two had discussed the unfortunate turn of fate.

Shaw’s third PASS North win of the season matches his strongest years on the tour, with plenty of races left to add to that total. The Center Conway, N.H. veteran has been on a tear since June, winning twice with GSPSS at Monadnock Speedway and Riverside Speedway, notching his second career American-Canadian Tour win at White Mountain Motorsports Park in July, and picking up his second PASS win of the year at WMMP earlier that month. Shaw leads the ACT Tour points standings midway through the season, with the goal of a first ACT Tour title on his mind.

While Tour races in the next two weeks will draw some of Shaw’s attention, his focus now is likely to be on the Oxford 250, a crown jewel he has yet to claim. Shaw has attempted the race all nine times it has been sanctioned under the PASS umbrella, with one more start in 2012. Third-place runs in 2016 and 2019 are his best results in the big race. Last year, mechanical trouble sidelined Shaw shortly before halfway, dooming the outside polesitter to a 42nd-place finish.

Shaw’s father Dale is winless in twenty starts of his own, making the 250 a target for the Shaw family.

And whether tempered by frustration or not, Saturday’s win is a step toward a successful Oxford outing in two weeks’ time.

Unofficial Results, PASS North Spencer Group Paving, LLC 150 at Oxford Plains Speedway:
1. (60) DJ Shaw
2. (99) Ben Ashline
3. (50) Gabe Brown
4. (39) Max Cookson
5. (54) Johnny Clark
6. (23) Dave Farrington, Jr.
7. (00) Jimmy Renfrew, Jr.
8. (81) Dan Winter
9. (4NH) Joey Polewarczyk
10. (72MA) Ryan Kuhn
11. (12X) Corey Bubar
12. (24) Mike Rowe
13. (17MA) Eddie MacDonald
14. (88) Brandon Barker
15. (50GRIT) Jeff White
16. (14) Scott McDaniel
17. (43) Randy Goulet
18. (7L) Glen Luce
19. (32) Nick Jenkins
20. (94) Garrett Hall
21. (21) Joey Doiron
22. (56) Evan Beaulieu
23. (72X) Scott Robbins
24. (18S) Michael Scorzelli
25. (5M) Dillon Moltz
26. (29) Trevor Sanborn
27. (20P) Joe Pastore
28. (60B) Tim Brackett
29. (1) Kyle DeSouza
30. (03) Scott Moore
31. (M3) Anthony Nocella
32. (12) Dennis Spencer

If you like what you read here, become a Short Track Scene Patreon and support short track journalism!

Read more Short Track Scene:

Jeff Brown is a contributor to Short Track Scene. A native of New Hampshire and a long-time fan of New England racing, Brown provides a fan's perspective as he follows New England's regional Late Model touring series.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *




More in Pro All Stars Series