Starting Over: DJ Shaw Uses Late Restart To Win Pro All Stars Series Race At Beech Ridge

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SCARBOROUGH, Maine — There wasn’t much Joey Doiron had to say about the finish of Saturday’s Pro All Stars Series race.

“We have to get our car better on restarts,” Doiron said. “It’s not the first time that’s happened to us here.”

DJ Shaw celebrates his PASS win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday.

DJ Shaw celebrates his PASS win at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway on Saturday.

What happened was that DJ Shaw got the restart of the race with four laps remaining, charging up the inside line from the second row to emerge with the lead and the victory in the Southern Maine Chrysler Dodge Jeep 150 at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway. Doiron was forced to settle for second, while Garrett Hall grabbed third at the checkered flag.

The win was the second career victory for Shaw at Beech Ridge and snapped a streak of 11 consecutive different winners at the track dating back to 2012.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it stuck,” said Shaw, of Center Conway, New Hampshire, the 2014 PASS North Series champion. “The (restart) before that, Joey missed a shift and I checked up and the 23 car had me jacked up. I was just hoping to finish fourth.”

Shaw started sixth and didn’t hit hit stride until the second half of the event. Content to let other drivers battle it out in the top five ahead of him, Shaw was just turning laps during a long green-flag run in the middle of the event.

Doiron, meanwhile, charged all the way from 15th starting spot to take the lead on lap 36, and he held through a couple of different restarts in the late going. Hall closed to Doiron’s bumper in lapped traffic with 25 laps remaining, but Doiron was able to open back up to a comfortable lead of several car lengths once he cleared the slower cars.

A restart with six laps remaining saw Doiron slide back out front, leaving Hall and Shaw to settle the battle for second. When the caution came out just a lap later, it appeared to everyone — including the three drivers involved — that the ensuing restart would look much the same as the previous one.

It didn’t, as Shaw dropped to the inside off of turn two to assume the lead for the first time all day.

“I knew Joey needed the top, but we all did, except for (Dave Farrington),” Shaw said. “He cleared Garrett and got a run to the top and mine just stuck enough to clear him. Then I just had to stay on the bottom, because that’s what got me the lead. I stuck with it and he raced me clean, and I thank him for that.

“I can’t believe I won. He was so good.”

Doiron, who led a race-high 110 laps, was only left to lament the opportunity lost. He called restarts his team’s “Achille’s heel.”

“They didn’t really get the track that cleaned up from the speedy dry on the backstretch,” Doiron said. “When I was trying to get my tires cleaned up before we took the green, and the thing just slid. I saw DJ get under me, and I figured, ‘OK, well, I still have the top (groove).’ It slid the first corner the first (restart) with Garrett, but it hooked up by the time we got to turn three.

“With DJ, it didn’t hook up and I knew I was going to be in trouble.”

“I think I was too aggressive and was wide open and spun the tires when I hit second gear,” Hall said. “DJ was inside of me and was racing Joey by then. I was just trying to hold onto third place, hoping they’d collect each other and I’d be a little lucky.”

Farrington, the 2014 track champion, finished fourth while reigning PASS champion Mike Rowe was fifth. Trevor Sanborn turned in a solid effort in a Shawn Knight-owned car to finish sixth, while Johnny Clark rallied over the final 30 laps to finish seventh. Bobby Timmons, point leader Ben Rowe and rookie Brandon Barker rounded out the top 10.

Mike Hopkins won the pole and led the first 28 laps, before he spun in the oil of another car while leading. That handed Farrington the lead, before he lost it to Dan McKeage just a couple of laps later.

From there, Doiron assumed control of a race most people thought he would win.

“It’s still a second-place finish, which is better than we’ve been,” Doiron said. “I’ll take it.”

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  1. Andy Boright says

    How is dumping Mike Rowe working out for the Pettit racing team?

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