BNS: Beech Ridge preview

SCARBOROUGH, Me. (May 31, 2001) - Dale Shaw enjoyed last September's Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway more than the series' visit in June. After all, he won the fall event while finishing fourth in the spring.

SCARBOROUGH, Me. (May 31, 2001) - Dale Shaw enjoyed last September's Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway more than the series' visit in June. After all, he won the fall event while finishing fourth in the spring. But he proved more in his losing effort last June because he came from 21st in the starting lineup to gain the lead, at least briefly, before settling for fourth at the checkered flag. Had Shaw stayed out front, he would have won from the deepest spot in field the Busch North Series has seen in several seasons.

Shaw will seek to repeat his September result, without needing the June heroics, when the Busch North Series visits the Cusack family's immaculate one-third mile oval in suburban Portland for the PTM Racing 150 on Sunday, June 10.

Tracy Gordon put on a passing clinic of his own to win last June's race, starting eighth and taking the lead when Shaw and Bud Pole winner Kelly Moore tangled on the 124th lap, just after Shaw completed his climb to the lead. Gordon and Shaw share the mark for career victories at Beech Ridge, as each has visited victory lane three times.

"Beech Ridge is a really tough track, but it's a fun track for me because I grew up at Oxford which is very similar," Dale Shaw noted. "We've got a really good setup for the outside and I set up to run out there all day long," he added. Setup was the key to Shaw's run for the lead last June, as he passed up the opportunity to pit for tires at lap 82, moving from eighth to third. Gordon, who did pit, knifed through the field and actually passed Shaw, but Dale returned the favor and kept moving on the outside until he had the lead. After getting together with Moore, Shaw pitted and blazed back to fourth in less than 25 laps.

Shaw is a car builder as well as a driver, so he has an intimate knowledge of the art of chassis setup. While Winston Cup teams may have a different chassis for every kind of track, Shaw believes in the proverb about keeping it simple. "We're trying to run one car all year except at Dover, Nazareth, and Loudon. We'll even run the short track car at the road courses," he asserted. "We feel if we stay with one car we'll learn its characteristics. This way you can work with the same thing week after week."

The addition of Tony Andrews as a full-time crew chief has also made a difference, permitting Dale to concentrate on his customer's needs in the pro stock ranks as well as the Busch North Series during the week. "When I didn't have enough help it was really hectic, because I was doing everything on both sides myself. Now I can sleep once in a while," he chuckled.

The PTM Racing 150 is scheduled as one-day event on Sunday, June 10, with practice starting a 11 a.m. and Bud Pole Qualifying at 2 p.m. The PTM Racing 150 should take the green flag at approximately 4:30 p.m. Beech Ridge Motor Speedway's regular NASCAR Weekly Racing Series classes will be in action on Sunday, as well as their normal Saturday night program.

Beech Ridge Motor Speedway is located on Holmes Road in West Scarborough, one mile from Exit 6 of the Maine Turnpike (I-95), and less than five miles from downtown Portland, the largest city in Maine.

-Al Robinson

2001 BUSCH NORTH SERIES, NASCAR TOURING RACE FACTS

WHAT: PTM Racing 150 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring Race #5 of 21

WHERE: Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, Scarborough, Maine .333 mile paved oval

WHEN: Sunday, June 10, 2001

DISTANCE: 150 laps (50 miles)

POSTED AWARDS: $73,150 (including $2,800 Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring Championship point fund money)

FIELD: 30 cars (Fastest 25 through two rounds of time trials. Four additional positions will be added as provisional starters based on the current 2000 Busch North Series standings, plus one position reserved for a past Busch North Series champion, if needed.)

SANCTION: National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR)

PROMOTER: Beech Ridge Speedway, Inc. <pre>

SCHEDULE: Sunday, June 10 9:000 a.m. Registration & Inspection 10:00 p.m. Mandatory Drivers Meeting 11:00 to 11:40 a.m. Practice 12:10 to 12:50 p.m. Practice 2:00 p.m. Bud Pole Qualifying (pos. 1-20) 3:30 p.m. Second round qualifying (pos. 21-25) 4:30 p.m. PTM Racing 150

</pre> * Tracy Gordon captured the 2000 running of the PTM Racing 150. He led only the final 27 laps after starting eighth. Bud Pole winner Kelly Moore and Mike Olsen swapped the lead until lap 123, when Dale Shaw completed an amazing drive from 21st to take the top spot for one lap. Shaw and Moore then tangled, opening the door for Gordon. Olsen, Dave Dion, Shaw, and Brad Leighton completed the top five. Gordon averaged only 49.751 mph as 5 caution periods consumed 40 laps.

* Kelly Moore captured the Bud Pole for the 2000 PTM Racing 150 with a lap in 15.675 seconds for an average speed of 76.555 miles per hour.

* Dale Shaw won the most recent Busch North Series race at Beech Ridge in September 2000. Dion, Moore, Leighton, and Gordon were second through fifth and Gordon won the Bud Pole.

* The matching victories by Gordon and Shaw in 2000 kept them tied for career Busch North Series wins at Beech Ridge with three each.. Single races have been won by Kelly Moore, Andy Santerre, Dave Dion, and Brad Leighton.

* Beech Ridge Motor Speedway opened in 1949 and operated until 1986 with an oiled dirt surface. Motorsports journalist and TV personality Dick Berggren was a sprint car track record holder on the old surface..

* The track was paved with asphalt in 1987 and became a member of the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series in 1995. Beech Ridge regular weekly classes will be part of the PTM Racing 150 activities, as well as racing the night before.

* The Busch North Series competes three times at Beech Ridge in 2001. The next appearance will be the Irving Oil 150 on Saturday, July 7.

STAT OF THE WEEK

Flatlanders beware. Ten Busch North Series races have been run at Beech Ridge, with honors split evenly between Maine and New Hampshire drivers. In 2000, driver from the Pine Tree and Granite states swept the top five in both races. The best "outsider" was Massachusetts resident Mike Johnson, seventh in June and sixth in September.

-AL Robinson

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mike Johnson