Scarborough, Me. - Dale Shaw proved superior in the long run Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, leaving the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring field in his wake as the final 65 laps of the PTM Racing 150 were run under the green flag.
Scarborough, Me. - Dale Shaw proved superior in the long run Saturday night at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway, leaving the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring field in his wake as the final 65 laps of the PTM Racing 150 were run under the green flag. Avoiding a spinning car with less than five laps to go wiped out his lead, however, and turned the final circuits into a tense battle through traffic. Shaw was equal to the task, taking the checkered flag five car lengths in front of Dave Dion, who passed Kelly Moore for the runner-up spot with two laps to go. It was Shaw's 16th career BNS victory, second to Moore's 19 on the all-time list.
Meanwhile, Brad Leighton finished fourth, one place ahead of Bud Pole winner Tracy Gordon, to extend his Busch North Series point lead over Gordon to 184 with two races remaining. Leighton can lock up his second straight title by finishing ahead of Gordon in this Saturday's nationally-televised race at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race Mike Johnson, who redrew the number one starting spot but never led, came home sixth, followed by Bobby Dragon, Bryan Wall, Dale Quarterley, and Mike Olsen. In spite of the close action on the third-mile oval, all but one of the 30 starters was running at the finish. Shaw averaged 50.804 miles per hour as the caution flag waved just five times for 36 laps. A season-high nine lead changes were recorded among six drivers.
The capacity crowd saw home-state favorite Gordon, a winner at Beech Ridge earlier this season, capture the Bud Pole at 76.278 miles per hour. Gordon redrew third while Shaw, with the second fastest time, redrew the outside of the front row and took the lead on the start. Gordon's night quickly took a turn for the worse as he was involved in a multi-car tangle on lap 6 and dropped to the tail of the lead lap.
Dion took the lead on lap 20 as Shaw settled into second and Gordon began carving his way through the field, reaching the top ten before a cut tire made him drop back again. Gordon was almost lapped before he was saved by Bryon Chew's spin on lap 60. Most of the leaders chose this point to pit for right-side tires, giving first-time BNS competitor Jerry Babb, Bill Penfold, and Paul Richardson each a shot at the lead.
Shaw emerged from the pits in front of Leighton, Dion, and Moore, and quickly made his way to the point, passing Richardson for the lead just before the final caution appeared on lap 79. By lap 100 he had broken free of his pursuers and by lap 125 he had checked out by 4 seconds as Moore and Dion made their way around Leighton and Gordon once again cracked the top ten.
The last five laps featured rapid-fire action as Shaw checked up to miss Louie Mechalides, who ironically is Shaw's engine builder, just as Dion passed Moore. The dramatic final circuit saw Shaw find racing room on the outside as Dion hugged the bottom in traffic, while Bryan Wall fell off the pace and lost three spots.
Shaw took the Gatorade Front Runner Award by leading four times for 91 laps, while Richardson earned the Flowmaster Star of the Race honors.