Pro All Stars Series
10 Things to Know: PASS & ACT at Monadnock
May 19, 2022
The 2022 racing season has not been the cleanest of starts for D.J. Shaw, but it is a start that has shown promising potential for Center Conway, NH native across the board. For the second-straight year the second-generation driver is competing full-time in the Pro All Stars Series Super Late Model and American-Canadian Tour Late Model ranks.
This Sunday, PASS and ACT will each conduct a 150-lap race at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, NH. Heading into these races, Shaw finds himself P2 early on in both title hunts; chasing youngster Derek Gluchacki in ACT and fellow veteran Eddie MacDonald in PASS.
Starting with PASS, Shaw started the year with a pair of Top 10s at Hickory Motor Speedway, then went on to kickoff the 18-race PASS North Series with a win at Thompson Speedway. Following disappointments at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Stafford Speedway, Shaw and the No. 60 team rebounded with a third-place performance in the year’s first race at Oxford Plains Speedway.
“We’ve been a little up and down on the PASS side of things. Just some bad luck that resulted in some bad finishes there to start the year, mixed in with some good results; some unexpectedly like up at Oxford. Hopefully we’re going in the right direction now,” Shaw told Racing America.
The first two events of the 13-race ACT Late Model Tour have been less eventful, with Shaw racing to finishes of fourth and ninth at NHMS and Thunder Road respectively. With the season still very early, he has less of a read of where the No. 04VT is at.
“It's hard to say right now. We’ve been consistent, but we’re only two races in. We’ve run Loudon, which is a different animal, and Thunder Road, which I’d say is our weakest track for me personally. Our cars have always showed speed up there, but not me. So, that’s a place I definitely got to work on, but we had a solid day there which was good for the long run.”
With PASS making its first ever visit to Monadnock and ACT its first in 19 years, Shaw is one of few drivers for both series to have appearances there. While he only has a trio of starts with the Granite State Pro Stock Series, the Southwest New Hampshire quarter-mile has become a go-to for Shaw, never finishing worse than second and winning his most recent appearance there in 2020.
“Monadnock is one of my favorite tracks. If I can enjoy a track that a lot of people don’t like I think it can give you an advantage at times. I’m looking forward to it and some others may not. In this case it’s pretty neutral, with not many from either tour have been there, and don’t know to expect. It’s a unique place that I like going back to as much as I can.”
Truly a unique oval, Monadnock has become one of New England’s most challenging short tracks. At the north end is the fast Turns 1 & 2 banked at 22 degrees, while the south end of the oval has Turn 3 banked at 16 degrees which then flattens out slightly to 13 degrees in Turn 4. That in Shaw’s opinion is the greatest challenge in the big bag of challenges that comes with racing at ‘Mad Dog’.
“Both ends are so different from one another, that’s the hardest thing. It’s mentally and physically challenging as far as short tracks go. You’re always having to hit your marks and they’re so different from one end to the other. You have to be focused all the time there, and that fits well for me. But, I got to be sure to bring my A-game come Sunday.”
Ever optimistic that he can work a Sunday sweep, Shaw is more confident that he can put himself in a prime position heading into the summer stretch for both PASS and ACT before both tours break for the next two weekends.
“Definitely. It’s getting to that point where you’re setting your momentum before getting to a break here. You always want to go into a break with some momentum on your side and try to carry it forward in a couple of weeks when everything gets going for the summer.”