The quarter-mile ovals of the Granite State have been good to DJ Shaw this year.
The five-time Pro All Stars Series champion picked up his second PASS North win of 2022 Friday night in the first half of a two-night doubleheader at White Mountain Motorsports Park in North Woodstock, N.H.
Shaw stole the lead from a dominant Wayne Helliwell, Jr. with 17 laps to go and held on for his 25th career triumph with the Maine-based Super Late Model touring series.
Friday’s feature was a rescheduling of an event in June that was postponed by rain. With few open weekends for a rain date, and a Saturday race already on the calendar in July, PASS opted to book back-to-back features instead.
And with some of PASS’ regulars already on the entry list for the Granite State Pro Stock Series’ $10,000-to-win feature at Lee USA Speedway the same night, PASS took the rare measure of introducing a “drop race” to the points system. Drivers who had attempted every race through the end of July would be able to exclude the Friday-night race, or their worst finish elsewhere.
Despite concerns that many racers would travel south for the big purse, and despite a rough-and-tumble feature at Oxford Plains Speedway last Sunday that left many teams scrambling to make repairs, over twenty cars were in the pits for the first of two nights of racing.
Shaw’s win at Thompson Speedway in April relegated him to a mid-pack starting position, but by lap 40, the young veteran was dicing it up with the leaders, battling Dillon Moltz and Johnny Clark for second behind Helliwell. Moltz, winner of the 2020 American-Canadian Tour Midsummer Classic 250 at WMMP, held on for several laps, but on lap 68 he yielded to the tandem of Shaw and Clark.
Helliwell showed the way through a pair of mid-race cautions, but on a lap-115 restart, Shaw brought more pressure to the former Oxford 250 winner’s rear bumper. On lap 133, Shaw made his move past Helliwell for the lead, driving off into the sunset.
Shaw’s victory, his sixth touring win at WMMP, made 2022 his eighth PASS season with multiple wins. His win last September at the bullring broke a winless streak at his home track that reached back to 2014.
Clark slipped by Helliwell in the closing laps to take second, a third runner-up finish of the season for the reigning and seven-time champion. Helliwell, winless in PASS competition since his Oxford 250 victory in 2016, ended the evening in third after leading the bulk of the race.
Early challenger Dillon Moltz, a runner-up last year at WMMP, recorded his first top-ten finish of the year with a fourth-place run. Fifth in the finishing order was Joe Pastore, whose car was turned around quickly after needing most of the body replaced after Sunday’s Oxford fiasco.
Sixth place went to Ben Ashline, with Trevor Sanborn seventh. Outside polesitter Ryan Kuhn was eighth after battling Moltz early on. Local Late Model star Stacy Cahoon made his PASS debut with a ninth-place result, while point leader Eddie MacDonald rounded out the top ten.
Oxford winner Gabe Brown was humbled at the high-banked oval, finishing 14th after a crash that left him several laps behind the leaders.
Shaw’s stock car career took shape at WMMP several years ago, with the young racer earning a track championship quickly before advancing to touring competition. But Shaw’s record reflects his heritage, with 17 career touring wins on quarter-miles. In two Granite State Pro Stock Series starts this year, the Center Conway, N.H. veteran picked up back-to-back checkered flags at Monadnock Speedway and Riverside Speedway.
A scheduling conflict in June kept Shaw from competing with PASS at Seekonk Speedway, as he seeks a first ACT Tour title with car owner Arnie Hill.
Friday’s schedule conflict with the GSPSS-sanctioned Keen Parts 150 kept Brandon Barker, Garrett Hall and Joey Polewarczyk from racing at WMMP. How their standing in the points shakes out after PASS’ drop race will be more evident when the points adjustment is applied in August.
For now, momentum is back on Shaw’s side after an early exit at Oxford. And with Oxford weighing heavy on the series schedule in the next month, Shaw will need that momentum as he seeks that elusive crown jewel win.
Unofficial Results, PASS North 150 at White Mountain Motorsports Park:
1. (60) DJ Shaw
2. (54) Johnny Clark
3. (27NH) Wayne Helliwell, Jr.
4. (5M) Dillon Moltz
5. (20) Joe Pastore
6. (99) Ben Ashline
7. (29) Trevor Sanborn
8. (72) Ryan Kuhn
9. (83VT) Stacy Cahoon
10. (17MA) Eddie MacDonald
11. (02) Brian Whalley
12. (14) Scott McDaniel
13. (07) Mark Patten
14. (50) Gabe Brown
15. (45) Mike Mayberry
16. (09) Jeremy Davis
17. (4) Ben Rowe
18. (32) Nick Jenkins
19. (45VT) Derek Ming
20. (1VT) Evan Hallstrom
21. (12) Dennis Spencer
22. (56) Evan Beaulieu
23. (81) Dan Winter