EPPING, N.H. — D.J. Shaw had a busy Saturday. But when you have the chance to celebrate a wedding and a trip to victory lane in the same day, you have to take it.
The three-time Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North champion notched his second win of the young season on Saturday, as he took the lead from Derek Ramstrom at lap 118 and hung on to take top honors in the Little Webb's Tire & Fuel 150 at Star Speedway.
Shaw attended a wedding earlier in the day, thinking it started at 11 a.m., yet it started at 2 p.m. Instead, his drive to southern New Hampshire on Saturday afternoon was a hurried affair.
“I got here just in time to run the qualifying heat, and I really need to thank Joey (Doiron) for getting the car ready in practice," Shaw said. "This new car from Dale Shaw Race Cars is really fast, to have two wins and a second this year is a great start. To come from 11th on the grid, miss the wrecks and win feels great.”
Joe Squeglia led 16 laps in the early going and made a late-race charge to finish second, while Vermont veteran Nick Sweet filled out the podium in third. Six-time series champion Johnny Clark led over 50 laps and crossed the stripe in fourth, while Reid Lanpher completed the top five.
Squeglia was pleased with his run, yet felt he had a car capable of reaching Victory Lane.
“This is a new car and we've been struggling with it,” Squeglia said. “The guys got it going good here tonight though, we made some mistakes out there but were still able to come away with a podium run. It isn't easy to pass here, or to avoid the wrecks when they happen, but we hung on for a decent finish.”
Sweet wheeled the Gary Clay Builders Chevrolet up from 20th on the 23-car grid, and had a rocketship.
“I'm just lucky to be able to drive this hotrod, and it was pretty fast here tonight,” Sweet said. “There isn't a ton of room to pass here, but we picked our lines carefully and worked our way up into contention. This is a tough place, but we came away with a decent finish. Now it's on to Groveton.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the Little Webb's Tire & Fuel 150 were Garrett Hall, Ramstrom, Jimmy Renfrew Jr., Bryan Kruczek and Gabe Brown. Six drivers took a turn up front, including Joey Polewarczyk Jr. (lap 1); Ben Rowe (laps 2-33); Squeglia (laps 34-50); Ramstrom (laps 112-117), and Shaw (lap 118 -150).
Fourteen of the 23 starters finished on the lead lap, while 12 cautions slowed the pace. Shaw's margin of victory over Squeglia was a scant .896 seconds, indicative of just how close the competition can be at Star Speedway.
Other notable finishers in the PASS 150 include Travis Benjamin (11th); Ben Rowe (14th); Dan Winter (15th); Lyman, Maine's Alan Tardiff (19th); and local favorite Derek Griffith (23rd).
The next stop on the 2019 Pro All Stars Super Late Model tour is set for next Sunday afternoon, May 19, at Speedway 51 in Groveton, New Hampshire. The series then moves to Vermont's famed Thunder Road on Memorial Day weekend for the Mekkelsen's RV Memorial Day Classic.
Unofficial Results - PASS North Super Late Model Series
Star Speedway - Epping, New Hampshire
|2||03||Joe Squeglia, Jr.|
|8||00R||Jimmy Renfrew, Jr.|
Story by: Phil Whipple, Speed51.com Northeast Correspondent
Photo credit: Speed51.com photo