New Hampsire’s DJ Shaw parlayed an aggressive move on the final lap into the win in the Pro All Stars Series (PASS) Super Late Model 9th Annual Easter Bunny 150 Sunday afternoon at Hickory Motor Speedway. Shaw and PASS South points leader Tyler Church made contact entering turn three allowing Shaw to move by and claim his first PASS South Super Late Model win. The race was delayed for nearly 24 hours after torrential rains drenched the Southeast on Saturday.
“I got a little more aggressive there than usual, but I lost this race last year with Preston [Peltier] for letting him be aggressive with me,” said Shaw after his first career Easter Bunny 150 triumph. “It’s great to win at a historic place like Hickory and I just have to thank the fans and PASS for getting it in today and supporting us on Easter.”
In qualifying, Preston Peltier claimed his 13th career quick qualifying time and fifth overall at Hickory with a lap of 80.816 miles per hour. Following the top 10 qualifiers redraw, Peltier dropped to second alongside Jared Irvan, who would start from the pole.
Under beautiful Carolina blue skies, Irvan jumped into the lead as the 30 car field of PASS Super Late Models entered turn one. On lap five, Trevor Sanborn slid sideways after contact from Harrison Burton entering turn one. Several cars checked up to avoid the incident with the machines of Brandon Ward, Ryan Moore, Brandon Setzer, and Patrick Staropoli all ending up with too much damage to continue on in the race.
When racing resumed, Irvan and Peltier traded the lead, before 10th place starter Randy Gentry made his way to the front on lap 15. The second caution of the race waved a few laps later on lap 33 when Lee Tissot and Nick Tucker spun in turn four.
Back under green, fans were treated to some of the best short track racing around as drivers jockeyed for position, racing two and three wide several rows deep around the historic .363 mile speedway. Gentry set a quick pace early on stretching his lead to nearly a straightaway over his nearest competitors. But, just past halfway, Gentry’s Toyota began to fade allowing Roger Lee Newton to move by and into the lead on lap 80.
Likewise, Newton’s car also seemed to be going away as Burton moved by to take the lead on lap 92 for the first time in his PASS South career. Rookie Tyler Dippel began applying pressure on Burton in the latter stages of the race, taking the lead with 37 laps to go when Burton bobbled exiting turn four. Racing continued to be torrid as Dippel worked multiple grooves around the speedway to hold off his challengers. With 10 laps to go, Burton moved by Dippel to retake the lead. But his turn up front would be short lived as DJ Shaw powered past Burton to take the lead just two laps later.
However, the caution would wave with 5 laps to go following a flat right front tire for Daniel Hemric. On the final restart of the race, Tyler Church got the advantage over Shaw to take the lead entering turn one. Shaw closed back in making contact with Church on the final lap as they entered turn three and survived more contact coming to the checkered flag to secure the win.
Following the race, Church was clearly frustrated after just missing out on his second straight win at his home track.
“We had that race and I tried to race everybody clean, but sometimes it doesn’t pay off,” said Church afterwards.
Following Shaw and Church at the finish were Peltier, Irvan, and Dippel. Rounding out the top ten were Newton, Sanborn, Cole Timm, Trevor Noles, and Austin Theriault.
Walker Yates took the lead from race long leader Jeff Batten on a late race restart with 13 laps to go and held on for his second career PASS Pro Late Model victory. The most serious accident of the race occurred on lap 29 when Austin Reed made contact with Jacob Schneider exiting turn four. The contact sent Schneider spinning and collected Reed and Lucas Jones in the aftermath. Following Yates and Batten at the checkered flag were Kodie Conner, Schneider, and Erik Nash.
Matt Craig led every lap en route to the win in the Legends division over Austin Osborne, AJ Davis, Sam McAulay, and Greg Lang.
The PASS South Super Late Models and PASS Pro Late Models will be in action along with the USAC HPD Midget Series on Friday night May 9 at Ace Speedway for the Ace’s High 150. Entry forms and the complete weekend schedule will be posted soon at ProAllStarsSeries.com.