Andy Shaw gets 30th PASS win

 

CONWAY — Andy Shaw of Center Conway raced to his first victory of the season in the non-stop, 40-lap feature race for PASS Mods Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, on Saturday night. Shaw started from the seventh position but wasted little time getting in front of the pack in the caution-free affair.

The five-time PASS Mod champion had built a very healthy lead over the field by the time championship points leader Ben Tinker, who started 10th, made it to the second position. Tinker, of New Gloucester, Maine, gained some ground on Shaw in the closing laps but needed a caution flag that never waved to mount a serious challenge on this night.

For Shaw, it was career win number 30 in the PASS Mods, while Tinker's runner-up finish snapped a five-race winning streak and is his worst finish so far in 2017. Former PASS Mods champ Scott Alexander of Glenburn, Maine, filled out the podium, prevailing in a late-race battle versus Bruce Helmuth of Wales, Maine.

Mark Lundblad, Jr. of Conway rounded out the top five after starting 13th and racing in the outside groove for most of the distance.

Shaw was little emotional after the win.

“Thank you to Sumner and Janet Sessions for giving me the ability to race for you,” he wrote on Facebook. “Phil Butterfield and Danny Nash for their hard work in the shop and at the racetrack. Robbie for supporting my racing for the last 20 years. David Weir for being the best spotter ever and other team car owner. John Mayhan and Jen Jennifer Mayhan for being amazing sponsors and support. To my Mom and Dad for supporting me unconditionally and still coming to every race, no matter where it is. I was so grateful to share my 30th PASS Mod win with all of you and with my Aunt Lisa Warren and cousins Gary Warren and Maria Warren.”

The next Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model race is scheduled for this Thursday, July 13, at Star Speedway in Epping. For more information visit proallstarsseries.com or call (207) 539-8865.

 

Running for the fallen – North Conway, student fundraising in honor of Vietnam veteran grandfather

CONWAY — Robert S. Graustein II never had the chance to meet his grandfather, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Robert S. Graustein, who was killed in Vietnam on Dec. 21 1972. But on July 15, he will have the opportunity to honor his grandfather’s memory by participating in the eighth annual Run to Home Base presented by New Balance at Fenway in support of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

The 9K run and 5K run/walk begins outside Fenway Park and ends with participants crossing home plate, raising necessary funds for the clinical care and support provided by Home Base and their mission, “to heal the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families. Invisible wounds include post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and other issues associated with the deployment cycle.”

Bobby, 14, the son of Bethanne and Robert Stephen Graustein of North Conway, will be a freshman at Kennett High School in the fall.

“Bobby saw (Run to Home Base) while watching a game, that's what started the process then they asked #whodoyourunfor, this is what changed the outlook for him,” Bethanne said of her son’s desire to run.

Bobby’s participation in the 9K run is timely; this year, the opening ceremonies for the run will include a special recognition ceremony for Vietnam Veterans in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. More than 1,000 Vietnam Veterans are traveling from around the country to join Home Base and the Boston Red Sox for a day of commemoration at Fenway Park that will begin at the July 15 Run to Home Base and culminate with a special pre-game on field ceremony at the Red Sox vs. Yankees game that same afternoon.

“I run for him because I was never given the chance to meet him,” says Bobby, when asked about his grandfather and why he chose to participate in the Run to Home Base. “I am named after him.”

Last month, Bobby was one of three athletes to represent the Conway Parks and Recreation Department at the Granite State Track and Field Championships at Pelham High School in Pelham. Despite being under the weather the talented athlete was fourth in the 800 meters; fifth in the 1,600 meters; and fifth in the long jump.

The late LCDR Graustein graduated from the Naval Academy in 1961 as an Operations officer of the VA-75. He was subsequently stationed at the naval air station Oceana on the USS Saratoga, at which point he deployed to Vietnam as part of the Sunday Punchers squadron. His A-6 plane was struck down while he was on a bomb strike on Kien Ann Airfield.

Bobby’s physical resemblance to his late grandfather is uncanny, but it is clear his dedication to the service to others runs in the family. Bobby quickly surpassed his fundraising goal of $750 and plans to raise at least $1,500 to support the Home Base mission to heal the Invisible Wounds of War. As of Friday, he had received $1,850 in pledges.

Bobby believes the Run to Home Base is a way to give back to the men and women who answered the call to serve, just as his grandfather did so many years ago. The Vietnam Veterans recognition ceremony and the 9K race represent a way for Bobby to connect with a man he never had the privilege of meeting.

If you would like to support Bobby and help him reach his Run to Home Base fundraising finish line, you can visit his 2017 Run to Home Base fundraising page: http://tinyurl.com/y99th8da

 

Shaw claims win No. 30 at Beech Ridge

 

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — There’s no place like Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in Scarborough, Maine, for Andy Shaw. The Center Conway resident recorded the 30th victory of his career when he won the 40-lap feature race for PASS Modifieds on Saturday.

Beech Ridge will always be special to Shaw since it’s where he won his first race in his very first PASS Modified start.

“I love that place,” Shaw said by phone Tuesday. “It’s one of those tracks where you can manipulate the car by how you drive.”

Shaw said he enjoys the progressive banking at the speedway. He’s won “seven or eight” races at Beech Ridge over the years,

Saturday, the five-time PASS Mod champion took the lead on lap-seven and never looked back.

“The car was an absolute rail,” he said, smiling.

With the win, Shaw snapped Gloucester, Maine’s Ben Tinker’s five-race win streak. Tinker, was second, while former PASS Mods champ Scott Alexander of Glenburn, Maine, was third.

Mark Lundblad, Jr. of Conway finished fifth after starting 13th.

Shaw was more than a little emotional after the win.

“Thank you to Sumner and Janet Sessions for giving me the ability to race for you,” he wrote on Facebook. “Phil Butterfield and Danny Nash for their hard work in the shop and at the racetrack. Robbie for supporting my racing for the last 20 years. David Weir for being the best spotter ever and other car owner. John Mayhan and Jen Jennifer Mayhan for being amazing sponsors and supporters. To my Mom and Dad for supporting me unconditionally and still coming to every race, no matter where it is. I was so grateful to share my 30th PASS Mod win with all of you and with my Aunt Lisa Warren and cousins Gary and Maria Warren.”

Shaw got maximum points on the night by also winning the heat race. He has four top-five finishes this season.

“I should have three wins,” he said. “At Oxford (Plains), I blew the transmission going down the backstretch and ended up coasting to second.”

He thought he was in a position to win in Bangor, but got pushed off the race track and rallied to claim fourth place.

It’s already been a busy stretch of racing for Shaw. He competed in the inaugural New England Short Track Showdown June 30-July 1 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. Competing in the Valenti Modified Racing Series for open-wheel Modifieds against 29 other drivers, Shaw qualified seventh in the June 30 time trials, but a broken transmission brought his July 1 run to an end much sooner than he wanted.

It was just the second time for Shaw and his crew in a VMR event.

With a ton of talented drivers and crews in the field, Shaw set a goal of a top 12 for the race, but things got exciting during the practice laps.

“I thought top 12, I’ll consider it a success,” he said. “(In practice) Dave Weir was spotting and he came over the radio, ‘Oh, my God!’ I said, ‘Is something wrong? Did something fall off the back of the car because I’m going 160 mph?’ He, said, ‘Your’e on top of the lap chart.’ We ended up fifth overall in qualifying — that’s a win for us. It was only the second time we’ve run the car. I really felt like we had a top three car at Loudon.”

Shaw plans to race two more VMS events at Lee Speedway on July 21 and Beech Ridge on Aug. 19.

“I’m over the top excited to race (at Beech Ridge),” he said.

Shaw will be back in the PASS Mods seat on July 30 for a race at Oxford Plains.

 

Locke clears waivers, heading to New Orleans

 

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Jeff Locke cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A New Orleans on Sunday by the parent club, the Miami Marlins.

Locke, 29, of Madison, the lone New Hampshire resident in Major League Baseball, was designated for assignment on July 4, a day after allowing  11 runs in 2 2/3 innings at the St. Louis Cardinals. Locke, as was expected, passed through waivers unclaimed. Had a team put in a claim for the 2006 Kennett High graduate, it would have taken on the remaining $1.3 million contract owed Locke for this season. When a player is outrighted to the minors, he is removed from the 40-man roster but is still paid under the terms of his guaranteed contract.

It is likely Locke will join the starting rotation in New Orleans.

The Baby Cakes went 35-55 in the first half of the season and sat last in the four-team Pacific Coast League American Southern at the PCL All-Star break. The Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals farm team) led the division at 56-33.

As of Monday afternoon Locke was listed on the New Orleans roster. He had yet to be assigned a jersey number. At 29, he is the third oldest member of the team behind only former Major Leaguers infielder Mike Aviles (36), and pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne (30).

Locke, who signed a one-year deal with the Marlins last December, had an 8.16 ERA through seven starts.

The Baby Cakes are managed by Arnie Beyeler, who is in his second season at the helm. Prior to that, he spent three seasons (2013–15) as the first base and outfield coach for the Boston Red Sox, winning a 2013 World Series ring. He was the manager of the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox from 2011-12.

New Orleans is scheduled to open the second half of its season on the road for a four-game set against the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Los Angeles Dodgers farm team), beginning on Thursday. The Bake Cakes have yet to set their rotation for the second half of season.

The Baby Cakes play their home games at Shrine on Airline Park in Metairie, La., a suburb of New Orleans. The park holds 10,000 spectators.

Locke missed all of spring training with Miami after suffering left shoulder tendinitis on the opening day of spring training in February.

He made his season debut for the Marlins on June 1 in a 3-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Marlins Park. In the opener, Locke was locked in. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and struck out five in the first three innings on his way to 7Ks on the night. The talented left-hander took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning against Arizona.

“That was a lot of fun,” Locke said. “I felt like a little kid. For the most part, it went just the way I’d like it to go.”

Locke allowed just three hits and didn’t walk anyone, but the bullpen was unable to maintain the lead.