Shaw Claims First ACT Victory in Series Return to Lee USA Speedway
Lee, NH — Center Conway, NH’s D.J. Shaw took home his first career American-Canadian Tour (ACT) victory on Sunday, May 16 following a hard-fought Lee USA 150 at New Hampshire’s Lee USA Speedway. The multi-time Pro All Stars Series (PASS) champion held off New Sharon, ME’s “Thrillin’” Dillon Moltz for the runner-up spot on the track before being named the winner a little more than an hour later.
Shaw inherited the win after Wayne Helliwell Jr. was disqualified in post-race technical inspection for a chassis infraction. It bookended a day where reigning ACT champion Jimmy Hebert crashed hard in the final ACT practice session and was unable to even take the green flag as a result.
Graniteville, VT’s Stephen Donahue earned the pole in qualifying for the first ACT visit to Lee USA Speedway since 2018. The youngter led the first two laps before Shaw sailed underneath him. A flurry of early cautions followed, including back-to-back spins by brothers Shawn and Jamie Swallow Jr. On the fourth restart of the race at lap 12, Helliwell drove around the outside of Shaw to take the lead.
Dover, NH’s Helliwell then paced the field for more than 50 circuits, which included a lap-39 caution for Peyton Lanphear’s spin. It wasn’t for lack of effort by Shaw, though, as he constantly was peeking to Helliwell’s inside. Shaw finally got the bite on lap 66 and went underneath Helliwell to retake command.
He remained there until Jesse Switser’s turn-three spin brought out the sixth caution at lap 86. Shaw chose the outside for the restart after seeing how well it had worked for Helliwell. However, Shaw slipped coming out of turn four, with both Helliwell and Hudson, NH’s Joey Polewarczyk Jr. shooting past as a result.
The field bunched up again on lap 96 when Reilly Lanphear looped it in turn three and Switser caromed in, ending both their days. Helliwell settled into the lead on the ensuing green-flag run with Shaw getting back around Polewarczyk for second. He couldn’t close the gap on Helliwell, though, until they caught a quartet of cars inside of 20 laps to go.
With three cars in the pack racing to stay on the lead lap, Helliwell had his hands full — which let Shaw, Polewarczyk, and Moltz get to his rear deck-lid. As Helliwell tried the outside of Dylan Payea, Shaw went low and led lap 137. Helliwell was back in front as the field started lap 138. Before the circuit was completed, the “calamity corner” of turn three struck again. Shawn Swallow and Joey Laquerre touched, and the resulting stack-up caused Donahue to spin in front of the leaders, with everyone managing to escape.
By ACT procedure, the field went back to the last completed lap for the restart, which put Shaw on the point. Helliwell drove past on the restart with two more cautions — one for Payea and Laquerre collecting the turn-three wall, and another for Ben Rowe’s spin with a flat right-rear tire — slowing the field before race’s end. When it was all said and done, though, it was Shaw and his Arnold Hill Motorsports team holding the winner’s trophy — Shaw’s first in ACT Late Model Tour competition.
Moltz ended up with the second spot while Polewarczyk completed the podium. Candia, NH’s Jimmy Renfrew Jr. followed up his Late Model victory at White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday night with a fourth-place on the ACT stage. Rookie Erick Sands, Derek Gluchacki, Shawn Swallow, Rowe, Donahue, and Laquerre completed the top-10.
The ACT Late Model Tour is next on track at North Woodstock, NH’s White Mountain Motorsports Park on Saturday, June 12 at 6:00pm for the Caron Fabrication Spring Green. The Tour regulars will take on many weekly Foley Oil & Propane Late Model competitors for 121 laps in the traditional ACT event. They’re joined by the Wells River Chevrolet Flying Tigers, Woodsville Guaranty Savings Bank Strictly Stock Minis, and Arnolds Wayside Diner Dwarf Cars. Admission is $20 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6-12, and $40 for a family of four (2 adults, 2 kids).
ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
LEE USA SPEEDWAY — LEE, NH
LEE USA 150
Pos., Start Pos., Driver, Car #, Hometown, Laps
1. ( 3 ) D.J. Shaw ( 04VT ) , Center Conway, NH , 150 Laps
2. ( 5 ) Dillon Moltz ( 5ME ) , New Sharon, ME , 150 Laps
3. ( 6 ) Joey Polewarcyk Jr. ( 97NH ) , Hudson, NH , 150 Laps
4. ( 11 ) Jimmy Renfrew Jr. ( 00NH ) , Candia, NH , 150 Laps
5. ( 12 ) #Erick Sands ( 36NH ) , Derry, NH , 150 Laps
6. ( 8 ) Derek Gluchacki ( 03MA ) , North Dartmouth, MA , 150 Laps
7. ( 16 ) #Shawn Swallow ( 04NH ) , Lancaster, NH , 150 Laps
8. ( 7 ) Ben Rowe ( 4ME ) , Turner, ME , 150 Laps
9. ( 1 ) Stephen Donahue ( 2VT ) , Graniteville, VT , 150 Laps
10. ( 19 ) Joey Laquerre ( 15VT ) , E. Montpelier, VT , 149 Laps
11. ( 18 ) Peyton Lanphear ( 22VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 148 Laps
12. ( 13 ) Matt Anderson ( 49NH ) , Franklin, NH , 148 Laps
13. ( 21 ) Tom Carey III ( 5MA ) , New Salem, MA , 146 Laps
14. ( 20 ) #Kevin Vaudrien ( 70VT ) , Brattleboro, VT , 145 Laps
15. ( 2 ) Dylan Payea ( 7NH ) , Milton, VT , 140 Laps
16. ( 15 ) Reilly Lanphear ( 21VT ) , Waterbury, VT , 95 Laps
17. ( 10 ) Jesse Switser ( 25NH ) , West Burke, VT , 95 Laps
18. ( 14 ) Eddie MacDonald ( 17MA ) , Rowley, MA , 58 Laps
19. ( 9 ) Jamie Swallow Jr. ( 4NH ) , Stark, NH , 51 Laps
20. ( 22 ) James Linardy ( 77MA ) , Somerville, MA , 33 Laps
21. ( 17 ) Bryan Mason ( 10NH ) , Milan, NH , 23 Laps
DSQ ( 4 ) Wayne Helliwell Jr. ( 27NH ) , Dover, NH
Lap Leaders: Stephen Donahue, 1-2; D.J. Shaw, 3-12; Wayne Helliwell Jr., 13-66; Shaw, 67-86; Helliwell, 87-136; Shaw, 137; Helliwell, 138-150. (6 lead changes among 4 drivers)
Time of Race: 1 hour, 19 minutes, 12 seconds Margin of Victory: 0.362 seconds
Cautions: 10 (laps 5, 6, 6, 12, 39, 86, 96, 137, 140, 141)
Heat Winners: Stephen Donahue, Wayne Helliwell Jr., Dillon Moltz
Consi Winner: Jimmy Renfrew Jr.