Winning the 2014 Pro All Stars Series (PASS) North championship was not an easy feat for Center Conway, New Hampshire’s DJ Shaw. The experience of chasing a premier touring series championship was one that Shaw considered to be “tough and stressful,” but also rewarding. Now, just three days ahead of the 2015 season opener, Shaw knows that repeating his championship may be even more difficult than claiming his first.
“It wasn’t that long ago when Johnny (Clark) was winning the championship every year along with winning seven races,” Shaw told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We’re a far cry from that type of dominance. It was nice to finish the season on top, but we’ve got to work hard to stay there.”
Heading into the season, Shaw is confident that his team has all the pieces in place to set them up for another run at the title.
“I think we have as good of a shot as anybody,” said the 25-year old racer. “It’s always tough to repeat, but I’m optimistic. I hope the new car is a step in the right direction and we can improve on what we had last year.”
Shaw debuted a brand new car out of his family-owned Dale Shaw Racecars shop earlier this year during the PASS South event Dillon Motor Speedway (SC). Although his team experienced problems with the car at Anderson, he believes that building a new car for the season was important in order to stay ahead of the competition.
“We took all of the parts off of the old one and built a new chassis,” said Shaw. “We tried some experimental things. We didn’t really get a full-fledged effort at Anderson. If there was a problem you could have, we had it. At least we got that out of the way and can go to Oxford fresh.”
On his way to winning the championship in 2014, Shaw captured three wins, 11 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in 14 starts. Although he still plans to chase a second PASS North title this season, he says that his focus will shift to capturing more checkered flag in 2015. At least that’s his strategy for now, but that could certainly change as the season goes on.
“I would like to go more for wins this year and just forget about the points and see where they fall at the end,” said the defending PASS North champion. “We say that every year, but it’s impossible to do once you get wrapped up in it. I’d like to chase wins and if you win enough, everything else will fall into place.”
Shaw and the rest of the stars from PASS North will begin their season on Saturday, April 18 at Oxford Plains Speedway. An entry list on the series website indicates that 37 cars have already pre-registered for the historic event which will also feature a 150-lap American-Canadian Tour feature.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Pro All Stars Series