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Pro All Stars Series

Shaw’s Dry Spell Ends With PASS Spud Success

After going most of the season without a win for himself or his customer cars, D.J. Shaw’s first PASS checkered flag of 2023 gives his operation back-to-back victories.

D.J. Shaw, seen here racing at Oxford Plains Speedway, broke a season-long winless streak Saturday with his victory in the Feed The County 150 at Spud Speedway. (STS/Jeff Brown file photo)

Saturday was a long time coming for D.J. Shaw. The victory, naturally, but maybe even the race itself.

The five-time Pro All Stars Series North champion broke a year-long dry spell, finally scoring his first win of 2023 in the Feed The County 150 at Spud Speedway.

Situated minutes from the Canadian border in the heart of northern Maine’s potato country, Spud opens once a year to welcome the PASS Super Late Models for a race that serves as a fundraiser for the food banks of economically-challenged Aroostook County.

Originally booked for July, the race was shifted late in the season for a second consecutive year due to inclement weather.

And as the PASS teams unloaded at Spud, Shaw had three real opportunities to break an uncharacteristic dry spell. The Center Conway, N.H. veteran kicked off the season with a bold new look, trading his signature black-and-neon aesthetic for cars wrapped in white for new sponsor Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. A slow start to the season was reversed with a runner-up finish to Derek Griffith at Thunder Road International Speedbowl in May. But Shaw, a four-time winner last year and a three-time winner in 2021, was unable to do better than sixth in the next five races, finally notching two podiums at Oxford Plains Speedway in August.

It wasn’t just Shaw, either. Dale Shaw Race Cars chassis were cleaning up in the American-Canadian Tour, where he has one win as a driver, but Shaw-built cars were winless in PASS this year until Gabe Brown’s victory last week at White Mountain Motorsports Park.

With three opportunities to score a PASS victory remaining, Spud—a track where Shaw won in 2019—looked like his best bet to break the skid.

And Saturday afternoon, Shaw did exactly that, starting from the pole and putting on a show out front.

Joey Doiron was second at the finish, but the misfortune that has hovered over the reigning Granite State Pro Stock Series champ in his PASS return found its way to The County, too. Doiron timed in fourth-fastest in the first practice session before engine trouble threatened to send the Petit Motorsports team home early. Fortunately, seven-time champion Johnny Clark stepped in to help.

“Long trip to Spud ended with a broken motor in practice,” Doiron shared on Facebook after the race. “Thankful for the Clarks and their entire team for pulling out their back up car. Johnny and his team went above and beyond including missing basically two entire rounds of practice to get the backup ready to race.”

Doiron started fifth but found his way to the front, leading the race with 50 laps to go when the right front tire went flat. After a pit stop, the Berwick, Me. racer drove back to second in Clark’s backup car.

Clark, a two-time winner at Spud in 2010 and 2022, finished third.

Brown, still celebrating his win and runner-up performances in last week’s PASS/American-Canadian Tour double feature, was fourth with Thompson Speedway winner Trevor Sanborn rounding out the top five.

Points leader Max Cookson was sixth in the final rundown, ahead of Ben Ashline, who moved to his own Shaw chassis earlier in the summer. Wyatt Alexander made his first PASS start since last year’s Feed The County 150 with an eighth-place finish. PASS Modified star Brandon Varney made his first career PASS start in a Dennis Spencer-owned entry, finishing ninth, while Spencer himself rounded out the top ten.

Shaw, second in points entering the weekend despite his winless season, should close the gap on Cookson with two race weekends remaining to settle the PASS crown. Seven of PASS’ eight full-time drivers made the rescheduled event, with only Andy Shaw and the Dale Drew Racing team not making the trip north.

Cookson clinched the Oxford Plains Speedway track title two weeks ago for a second straight year. A model of consistency with no finishes worse than seventh all year, the teen racer could capture both the PASS North and National Championship honors at Oxford in three weeks, making him the first driver to sweep all possible titles in a year.

But with twelve PASS North titles between them, Shaw and Clark are not done fighting yet.

Unofficial Results
Pro All Stars Series North Feed The County 150
Spud Speedway

1. (60) D.J. Shaw
2. (51) Joey Doiron
3. (54) Johnny Clark
4. (47) Gabe Brown
5. (44) Trevor Sanborn
6. (39) Max Cookson
7. (99ME) Ben Ashline
8. (96) Wyatt Alexander
9. (12V) Brandon Varney
10. (12) Dennis Spencer, Jr.
11. (54X) Ryan Deane
12. (19) John Rideout
13. (5) Ben Rowe
14. (14) Scott McDaniel

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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.

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