A little over 14 months ago, D.J. Shaw was lamenting what could’ve been at Monadnock Speedway, when a cut tire derailed a dominating performance out front. Flash forward to Saturday night and the one that got away came back as Shaw notched his first career win at the Southwest New Hampshire quarter-mile in Round 5 of the 2020 Granite State Pro Stock Series season.
The win was also Shaw’s first triumph of the season, which has been littered with plenty of runner-up finishes. Leading the final three-quarters of the 100-lap feature, following a side-by-side duel with former GSPSS champion Devin O’Connell, it became a race that left Shaw with a big smile on his face as all the talk of would’ve, could’ve, should’ve disappeared.
“This is good redemption here. I love this place now, but maybe I’ll take a break for minute,” Shaw said in victory lane. “It’s really racy, this place puts on a good show. It was a clean race once we got started, I was a little nervous there. But, once we got 10 laps or so down it was clean. Lapped cars were respectful, everyone ran good. Hard for me to have complaints with how that turned out.”
As is often the case, Shaw and his No. 60 Late Models are often test subjects for new setups crafted by both himself and father Dale Shaw to be used by clients of the family chassis business. After a disastrous July, which included a hard outing in the GSPSS round at Hudson Speedway (NH), there was some relief that this experiment proved successful.
“We’ll say it’s 50-50, we tried it at Hudson too, and it didn’t work at all,” Shaw chuckled.
As the race wore on, points leader Angelo Belsito rose to the runner-up spot, but proved not to be a match for Shaw. It was the Massachusetts driver’s first ever visit to Monadnock, and given the struggles of the day, he was pleased with the ending.
“We struggled since we unloaded to tell you the truth, so I’ll take a second. Really couldn’t come around being tight around three and four. We made it better from when we got there, but it wasn’t enough.”
Connecticut driver Ray Christian III claimed the third spot, while fellow statesman Devin O’Connell fought a skip in the engine to finish fourth, holding off rookie Casey Call who completed the top five.
Video highlights and more from Saturday’s Granite State Pro Stock Series race at Monadnock will be available soon on Speed51, “The Official Video Home of GSPSS.”
Next up for the Granite State Pro Stock Series will be a trip north to Maine for the series’ first-ever race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday, August 15.
-Story by: Connor Sullivan, Speed51 Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo credit: GSPSS / Tom Morris
Granite State Pro Stock Series Results
Monadnock Speedway (NH) – August 1, 2020
1. 60 DJ Shaw
2. 8 Angelo Belsito
3. 93 Ray Christian III
4. 43 Devin O’Connell
5. 90 Casey Call
6. 52 Jake Matheson
7. 21 Josh King
8. 08 Mike O’Sullivan
9. 55 Cody LeBlanc
10. 97 Joey Pole
11. 40 Mike Mitchell
12. 77 Jeremy Sorel
13. 87 Alexander Pearl
14. 17 Kevin Folan
15. 29 Barry Gray