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.