THOMPSON, Conn. –Things can change quickly in racing.
In 2017, Shawn Monahan was a master of consistency at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the Limited Sportsman division. That consistency, matched with his furious drive to be successful, ended with a championship without the luxury of visiting Victory Lane.
But this year, he found a way to change that quickly. Monahan rolled to Victory Lane in four of seven NASCAR Whelen All American Series Limited Sportsman races and captured his second straight championship driving the No. 55 Critical Signs machine.
His final advantage in the championship chase stands at 49 points, nearly one race ahead of Chris Meyer.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the team and more blessed to be where I am today,” Monahan said.
In the season-finale, the 20-lap Sunoco World Series Limited Sportsman feature, Monahan entered the final turn inside the top five when the leaders made contact, and two of them went sliding up the track. Third-place Brent Gleason charged to the bottom and made it three-wide across the line in a thrilling finish that saw Corey Fanning take the victory.
Monahan, on the safe side, finished fourth with the car in one piece and hoisted another championship trophy.
“If you had asked me at the beginning of the season, I would’ve said that it’s impossible because of the talent this division has,” Monahan was quoted saying prior to the finale. “The different between myself and the rest of the competitors is simply that I have been in the right place, at the right time.”
Being in the right place at the right time helped him celebrate, but he wasn’t going out on the track to ride around. Monahan was seeking to win his fifth race of the season, and take home a Sunoco trophy that many wanted as part of the Sunoco World Series Weekend. He wasn’t going to just ride in an attempt to clinch.
“I like winning races. I really wanted to win the Sunoco trophy today. Sometimes I don’t know what is better, wheeling the car, or having one of the best seats in the house,” Monahan said.
With two championships in a row now under his belt, Monahan has etched his name into history at the Thompson Speedway.
“There were a few close calls today,” he said at the World Series. “Everyone said my point lead was extremely comfortable, and it was, but when you started 28 cars, you could be the victim early on and it could get ugly.”
Monahan adds his name to the talented list of Limited Sportsman champions on the .625-mile oval in a division where competition is extremely difficult. A total of 39 different drivers turned at least one lap during the season in the class, and Monahan was the only driver to finish inside the top five in all seven races.
Monahan will be officially crowned the 2018 NASCAR Whelen All American Series Limited Sportsman champion at the Awards Banquet & Celebration, with a date to be announced in the near future.
-Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park Press Release
-Photo credit: Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park