Shaw was out front when the race was red-flagged at lap 98. The feature was already on borrowed time since PASS officials hurried to just get it started as severe storms rocked Southern and Central Maine. After waiting for 45 minutes, the rain didn't let up and the race was put into the record book with DJ Shaw getting the victory ahead of Cassius Clark and Ben Rowe.
“We had a good car all day and worked hard,” said Shaw. “The rain was on our side today. We started on the pole in our heat and I made a mistake on the first lap. I ended up not winning that and started [the feature] in fifth. We adjusted on the car and definitely made it better. I think that we had the best car here.”
“I don't know,” said Clark when he was asked if he could have taken the lead from Shaw had the race gone its full 125-lap distance. “I always would like to have a go at it with 25 laps to go, but he [DJ Shaw] had a good car and did a good job. We had to come from the back and got up there pretty good, but the rain came and we'll never know what could have happened. At worst, we had a second place car anyways. Second is not as good as first - we come here to win, but it's not too bad. We'll just load up and go to the next one.”
“I would have liked to have won the race by going the full distance,” admitted Shaw. “But we almost made it. We were only a few laps short of going the distance and we'll take it however we can get it.”
With his victory, the Shaws join the Rowes (Mike and Ben) as the only father and son combinations to win events in PASS's headlining Super Late Model division. DJ's father Dale Shaw won the first ever PASS feature back in 2001 and now the teenager has joined him in the history books.
“This is huge for me,” said DJ Shaw. “It's been my goal all year to win and for it to happen so soon is great. I didn't think that I'd win so soon, but I hoped so. To come here and do it at Wiscasset is awesome. It's definitely been a good track for me [Shaw won the 2007 Coastal 200 Late Model event at the track, beating Mike Rowe in the processs], I really like it here.”
As happy as the son was, the father was even more excited once the race was called official.
“This is pretty special to me,” said Dale Shaw, who has won races in PASS North, ACT Late Models and what is now known as the NASCAR Camping World East Series. “This is more special to me than any race that I won. He's so smooth on the throttle and he's so good. This is the first race where he's gotten a good starting position and he's good at saving the car. Once you get to the top three or four, it's hard to get any further. You could see that today with Cassius and Ben. That's the position we've been in, but today he didn't have to use the car up.”
Dale Shaw is very hands on in DJ's racing career. Father and son build their cars
from scratch and maintain them in a shop next to their home in New Hampshire, but
Dale tries to limit his involvement when the races are going on.
“Usually, he doesn't do very good when I'm on the radio,” admitted Dale Shaw. “Dave
Weir [who is a car owner in the PASS Modified ranks for DJ's realtive Andy Shaw] spots
for him. I butt in occasionally, but usually that's the wrong thing to do.”
Also instrumental in DJ Shaw's career are car owners Julio and Rita Miglioli. The
couple, who have visited victory lane with driver Patrick Laperle before in PASS North
competition, signed DJ on to drive for them in 2007 and travel down to all of his races
from Quebec each week. Shaw knows that without the two popular faces in his pit,
he probably wouldn't even be racing in the series, much less winning in it.
“They've given me everything this year. They built me a car this winter and without them,
I'd probably still be racing weekly and filling in with a few [touring] races here and there.
But they stepped up and we can run the full tour.”
The Wiscasset PASS North race was originally schedule to take place on Father's Day, but was rained out and rescheduled. DJ Shaw had previous plans for Sunday. But he gladly changed them to come to Wiscasset on short notice.
“My [high school] graduation was yesterday, so we were going to have a graduation party today,” said Shaw. “Hopefully, we'll have a good party tonight now. It will be a combination of both things now.”
And there is no doubt which of the two things is more worth celebrating in Shaw's mind.
“It's definitely the win,” said Shaw. “I didn't even want to go to my graduation. I would have rather come here [a day early] and practiced.”