DJ Shaw is needs to be in two places at one time on Friday evening.
Shaw, a teenaged regular on the PASS North Super Late Model tour, has a regularly scheduled event at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway near the coast in Scarborough, Maine. The problem with that though is that he was eyeing the chance to make his NASCAR Camping World East Series debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway inland in that state on the same afternoon. The NHMS race is scheduled for 5:10pm. Beech Ridge starts with heat races at 6pm.
But where there is a will, there's a way. Shaw plans to run both races on the same day.
“That's the way it looks right now - weather permitting,” said Shaw. “We're renting a helicopter to get to Maine.”
Shaw isn't one of those drivers who comes from financial priveledge. Instead, the genes passed down to him are those from championship-winning driver and car builder Dale Shaw. So how did the Shaws even find a helicopter to rent, much less go about doing it?
“We found a company by Loudon that all of the Cup guys use,” said Shaw. “TC [Ted Christopher] uses them to fly down to Stafford, so we called them. It's not cheap, but I guess it's worth it. I just want to race.”
To be able to race, there were a few logistics that needed to be worked out first. Shaw's team will split up between the two tracks on Friday with his Super Late Model headed to Beech Ridge in the trailer normally used by uncle Andy Shaw's Dave and Crystal Weir-owned PASS Modified team. On hand at Beech Ridge to shake down, practice and possibly qualify the PASS car will be multi-time Beech Ridge track champion Bobby Babb.
“It should be in good hands,” said Shaw.
The car will also be in good hands at Beech Ridge when Shaw arrives. He's a former regular in the Pro Series (Super Late Model) ranks at the track and last Saturday night, he won his first race there in weekly competition.
“It's the same car, so we know it will run well,” said Shaw. “Winning finally meant a lot to me. We raced there and still kept going back and we would finish second, third and fourth. We led a bunch of laps and now we finally won. But I'd rather win a PASS race there and that's what I'm going to try and do on Friday.”
Shaw's goals for the Camping World East race aren't quite as lofty - at least now for his debut race.
“I probably won't win my first race,” said the son of the 1994 series champion. “But we're looking to have a solid day where I can build my confidence and not tear anything up.
“It's pretty cool to be doing this. It seems that [Camping World East] is where everyone wants to be these days. It's definitely a step up in expenses, so I hope it is a step up when it comes to gaining exposure too.”
Driving his CW East car will be an almost totally new experience for Shaw.
“We never got to really test it,” said Shaw. “We went to Beech Ridge and took about four or five laps around the track there, but didn't get to do any of them at speed really. We just wanted to make sure that there were no leaks when the car was on the track. There isn't much practice at New Hampshire, so we want to make that count.”
Shaw's CW East car will have a familiar look to it - the #60 machine won't be much different in appearance than the PASS car he drives for Julio and Rita Miglioli's JLM Precision team.
“It's going to have the same number, the same sponsor, the same paint scheme and the same everything as the PASS car,” said Shaw.