51's NORTHERN EXPOSURE by Mike Twist
Shaws Find Rides, Red Sox and Racing Mix and Much More
SHAW RETURNS TO BUSCH NORTH



COBY RETURNS TO STAFFORD

Two-time Stafford Motor Speedway champion Doug Coby will be returning to the track on Friday nights during the 2005 season.  Coby has announced that he will drive the #8 Xtramart SK Modified at Stafford this year.  The car is owned by Mark Aspinwall.
greater than with any other cars. It's been tough trying to run the Busch car in the last couple years when I was just running it a couple times a years, it just wasn't happening.”

Part of the appeal in his new ride is that Shaw won’t be a one man team.

“I'm really looking forward to working with Mark in a situation where I won't have to make all the decisions,” said Shaw.  “It's hard to be a crew chief from the seat. In the past I made a lot of the calls myself and a lot of those calls wound up being wrong.”

The Busch North season gets started on May 15th at the Lee USA Speedway (NH).

ANOTHER SHAW RETURNS TO OXFORD

Dale is not the only Shaw making pre-season news.  His nephew, former PASS regular Andy Shaw, will be running a full season of Pro Stock racing at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) in his familiar #66 car.

Shaw has raced full-time at Oxford before.  In 2003, he finished second in the Pro Stock standings at the 3/8-mile track.

SHIVERS STEPS UP MOD PROGRAM FOR 2005

More immediate on the New England motorsports calendar is the season opener for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour this weekend.  The season kicks off with the Icebreaker at Thompson and Greg Shivers is really looking forward to getting his 2005 season off and running.
Bob Dillner talks with Mike Gavrey while wearing his Red Sox hat.
For a racer like Dale Shaw, it’s not easy to walk away from the sport that you love.

Shaw had announced over the winter that he would be stepping aside from the #52 David Storey-owned ACT Late Model to spend more time working at his car building business and helping his son budding karting career.
That escape didn’t work out so well.  Shaw has now signed a deal to return full-time to the NASCAR Busch North Series, where he won the 1994 championship.  He will drive the #15 Willoughby Motorsports car that was wheeled in 2004 by Bobby Dragon.

"Bobby wanted to cut back some, reduce the traveling he does," Team owner Mark Willoughby said. "I wanted to continue running a full schedule, so Bobby decided to step out of the ride. We're still friends, and we appreciate everything he's done for us over the last two and a half years. We had our best season ever last year, including finishing fifth in the NASCAR Showdown in California."

Shaw has driven regularly in Busch North, ACT and PASS Pro Stocks (Super Late Models) over the past several seasons and he is looking forward to concentrating on only one type of racecar.

"I'm looking forward to being back in the Busch North Series," Shaw said. "I've raced a lot of cars lately, but I like the Busch cars the best, probably because my experience level is so much
Dale Shaw will be trading in his ACT ride for a Busch North one in 2005.
Coby and Aspinwall were together in the 2002 season and they won three races together.  Coby has also won the 1998 Late Model and 2000 Pro Stock titles at the track.

The addition of Coby to the Stafford roster brings to three the number of full-time NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour drivers who will be running at the track in SK rides this year.  Coby will be running on the Tour this year for the #77 Chase team.


Donny Lia and Ted Christopher are also planning full schedules of racing at Stafford and on the NASCAR Modified Tour.
Shivers struggled through his rookie year on the Tour in 2004 with one car, a small crew
And limited resources.  However, he is going to be able to step up his racing program for 2005.

Shivers has signed Kleet Lumber as a primary sponsor for the entire season and will be debuting a new Troyer car at Thompson.

Shivers’ car from last season will serve as a back-up for most tracks as well as a car marked to run the bullrings at Waterford Speedbowl (CT) and Riverhead Raceway (NY).  This is a luxury that the team did not have last year.
The Shivers team has new backing for 2005.   (Mary Hodge/NASCAR Touring Photo)
RED SOX OWNER TO TAKE IN A RACE

Auto racing and baseball might compete for ink on the local sports pages, but the two sports will have a common bond when the Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway (CT) takes place in two weeks.
Kenseth met plenty of fans at Oxford in '04.
World champion Boston Red Sox owner John Henry will be the Grand Marshall for the race, which will feature the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour along with all of Stafford’s regular divisions.

Henry is said to be quite a race fan himself and is friends with NASCAR team owner Jack Roush.  Several NASCAR Nextel Cup drivers such including Matt Kenseth and Dale Jarrett have also been guests at Fenway Park in recent seasons.  In fact, Red Sox fever has even swept the Speed51.com offices.  Both this writer and Speed51.com founder Bob Dillner are loyal Sox fans.

KENSETH TO RETURN TO 250?
Here is a Northern rumor was actually first heard down south – sources have told Speed51.com that Matt Kenseth is planning to return to the Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway (ME) this season.  Kenseth finished third in the Pro Stock (Super Late Model) race last year and its July 31st date falls on an off weekend for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series.

Last season, Kenseth drove a car fielded by Whorff Motorsports of Maine.  The two car team has a garage full of racecars and they had obvious chemistry during their 2004 run in the 250, so it would be logical to think that Kenseth would be driving for them again.

Supposedly, the announcement might be made this coming week at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.  Speed51.com will have more details as they become known.
SPRING RACING UPDATE

There is still snow on the ground in Maine and that doesn’t mix well with racecars.  Therefore, the pre season practice session at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway that was planned for this Saturday has been cancelled.  It has been rescheduled for April 16th.

Meanwhile, down I-95 in New Hampshire, Star Speedway has scrubbed their April 9th racing program already because their snow has already melted.  However, the muddy mess among the parking and pit areas won’t make for a good show, so the racing action has been called off.

The good news is that conditions at White Mountain Motorsports Park are looking favorably for the April 16th PASS Pro Stock (Super Late Model) season opener there.

The True Value Modified Racing Series opener is set for April 15th at Monadnock and they will be hosting an open test session this Saturday at the track.

Waterford Speedbowl is planning their season opening event for this Saturday night after their first week of racing action was rained out last weekend.

WHELEN TO BACK BUSCH NORTH SHOW

There is still snow on the ground in Maine and that doesn’t mix well with racecars.  Therefore, the pre season practice session at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway that was planned for this Saturday has been cancelled.  It has been rescheduled for April 16th.

Whelen Engineering will sponsor the season opening NASCAR Busch North race at Lee USA Speedway (NH) on May 15th.



Doug Coby