Four-time PASS North champion D.J. Shaw will pull into the pit area at Oxford Plains Speedway this weekend with a chance to win two championships. Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire has a mathematical chance to become the first driver to win an American-Canadian Tour (ACT) and Pro All Stars Series (PASS) title.
Shaw, the two-time defending PASS North champion, currently holds an 80-point advantage over six-time series champion Johnny Clark in the battle for the PASS championship. PASS Super Late Models will compete in a 150-lap Saturday prior to Sunday’s 150-lap season finale.
While Shaw has a comfortable lead atop the PASS standings, he sits on the opposite end of the spectrum entering Saturday’s ACT season finale. After eight races in 2020, Shaw trails Jimmy Hebert by 38 points.
If Shaw is able to gain maximum points and win Saturday’s race, he will need Hebert to finish 11th or worse to win the championship.
Although he knows he needs help to win both championships, Shaw is just happy to have a chance at the feat during a season that began with so many unknowns.
“It’s pretty cool just to have a shot, really,” he said. “It’s nice to have a little bit of a cushion in PASS, and at the same time it’s a little disappointing that it’s going to take a miracle for the ACT one. Just to be mathematically in it for a year that we didn’t know if we were going to race is cool. It’s pretty cool on a lot of levels for a lot of people. It’s neat to have a shot.”
Battling for an ACT championship was not something that Shaw expected prior to the start of the 2020 season. After building his own car out of the Dale Shaw Racecars shop, he originally planned on having fun when time allowed and learning more about the cars to help his customers.
But that all changed after a strong start with the car he built. Although he ended up selling that particular car, he had an opportunity to drive Arnie Hill’s No. 04 Late Model for a handful of early-season events.
After finding his name at the top of the ACT point standings early in the year, the decision was made to chase the championship.
“We came out of the first race and did really well with our own car, then we sold it and did really well with the 04,” Shaw stated. “We ended up three or four races in with the points lead. We all got together and committed to finishing it out. It didn’t go quite as good as the start but good enough to be in the hunt.”
Through 20 combined races between the two series, Shaw has 12 top-fives and 18 top-10 finishes this season. Despite the consistency, he had been held winless in the two series until last weekend’s Sunoco World Series at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park (CT).
Shaw broke through last Sunday for a much-needed first PASS win of the season.
“We needed that. We’ve had a great year; we’ve just been second best a lot,” Shaw said. “It wears a lot when you’re missing it by so little. It’s hard to go after something drastic to be the winner when you’re so close and just need a little bit. When you’re that close, it’s hard to get any better. It came at the right time and came at the best place for me. I love going there. It kept our stats going at Thompson and got momentum going for the last weekend, hopefully.”
Now with a win under his belt, all of his focus shifts to this weekend’s doubleheader at Oxford Plains Speedway. Shaw has gone winless at the Route 26 oval in his last 22 attempts, dating back to a win on July 2, 2017.
Despite being consistent at the track – scoring 16 top 10 finishes since that win – Shaw is taking a few big swings entering this weekend’s PASS doubleheader. He tested at the Oxford, Maine oval on Thursday afternoon with hopes of finding enough speed to push him into victory lane.
“We had one bad race there this year, but going to finish second to sixth isn’t what we’re all about,” Shaw said. “We just want to try to take the next step towards being a threat again. It’s been a while since I won there. It’s hard to change anything when you’re finishing second to sixth consistently, but it’s time. It had to be done eventually.”
Race fans unable to attend Saturday and/or Sunday’s event at Oxford Plains Speedway will be able to watch all the action live on Speed51.TV. Live pay-per-view video tickets can be purchased for $25 each by clicking here.
-Story by: Brandon Paul, Speed51 Content Manager
-Photo credit: Speed51