Shaw Tops Late Model Foes During Thompson World Series

D.J. Shaw (60) battles Eddie MacDonald Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (John DaDalt Photo)
D.J. Shaw (60) battles Eddie MacDonald Sunday at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. (John DaDalt Photo)

THOMPSON, Conn. – Pro All Stars Series super late model point leader D.J. Shaw strengthened his bid for a fourth championship by winning the World Series 75 on Sunday during the World Series of Speedway Racing at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park.

The day was headlined by the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour season finale, which was won by Craig Lutz. Jon McKennedy was also a winner in the International Supermodified Ass’n feature.

Shaw, who had finished second five times this year without a victory, started outside pole and got the jump when Brandon Barker had trouble at the initial green flag.

Eddie MacDonald was right behind and looked below Shaw several times before getting around the outside in lapped traffic on lap 29. Shaw kept MacDonald in his sights, and after a pair of yellows at lap-42, he roared back around him on the outside.

MacDonald then fell into a three-way battle for second with Derek Ramstrom and Ray Christian III. By the time MacDonald escaped their clutches, Shaw was long gone on his way to the victory.

Christian got around Ramstrom late in the going to take the third spot. Johnny Clark, Ben Rowe, Corey Casagrande, Gabe Brown, Barker, and Kate Re finished fifth through 10th.

In other action, Keith Rocco triumphed for the 288th time in his storied career by capturing the 30-lap Sunoco Modified feature. Rocco started third and secured the lead on lap four after trading crossover moves with Troy Talman. He then put a bit of a gap on the field as Todd Owen, Ronnie Williams, and Brian Narducci tussled for the second spot behind him.

Williams and Owen were slowly gaining on Rocco when Joe Allegro Jr. spun to bring the caution out with three laps to go. On the restart, Owen and Narducci got together coming down the backstretch. Owen hit the wall hard with Tyler Leary and Paul LaPlante piling in, bring out a red flag for clean-up. Rocco then held off Williams on the final sprint to sweep the season series at Thompson.

Narducci chased the front two across the finish line. Talman, Eric Berndt, Max Zachem, Jeff Malave, Andrew Molleur, Woody Pitkat, and Allegro completed the top-10.

Randy Cabral ended his busy Sunoco World Series weekend by topping an intense three-way duel for the victory in the 25-lap Shane Hammond Memorial for the Truly Hard Seltzer NEMA Lites. Jim Santa Maria ran away in the first half of the caution-free event before Cabral and Avery Stoehr reeled him in. Cabral ducked inside Santa Maria in turn three to take the top spot on lap 16.

P.J. Stergios and Richie Coy followed Cabral around Santa Maria as Stoehr stalled out. The front three then went wing-to-wing over the final five laps for the coveted World Series victory. Stergios made one last bid on the final lap, but Cabral had just enough to hang on. Coy came in third followed by Santa Maria and Stoehr.

Ryan Waterman ran off and hid from a hard-charging Samuel Adams Limited Sportsmen pack to win their 20-lap season finale. Waterman started on the outside pole and took the lead from Lawrence Barnett on the second circuit.

Four cautions slowed the event, including one for a five-car pile-up with six laps to go. The field got its shots at Waterman, but the veteran had the upper hand each time, riding the outside line to the victory.

Brandon Plemons fended off a last-lap challenge from Zachary Robinson for second. Troy Waterman, Barnett, Al Stone III, Nikolas Hovey, Charles Stott, Kevin Mason, and Walter Hovey followed them to the finish line.

John O’Sullivan spoiled an upset bid by Paul Charette to win the 20-lap feature for the Twisted Tea SK Light Modifieds. O’Sullivan was running second to Charette as part of a four-car lead pack when Tyler Chapman and Derek Debbis, the third- and fourth-place runners, made contact entering turn one with two laps to go. Chapman ended up head-on in the turn-two wall to bring out the red flag.

On the restart, O’Sullivan got the break off the inside line and sped away to a World Series victory. Charette clung to second despite a hard charge from Shawn Thibeault. Nathan Pytko and Ethan Derocher rounded out the top-five.