D.J. Shaw of Center Conway, New Hampshire, the defending Pro All Stars Series North Super Late Model points champion, outdueled Nick Sweet of Barre, Vermont, to capture the Aroostook Savings and Loan Firecracker 200 on Sunday afternoon at Spud Speedway in Caribou.
It was the third tour win of the season for Shaw, who finished second to Derek Griffith of Hudson, New Hampshire, in last year’s Firecracker 200.
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, coming off his first two NASCAR Monster Energy Cup races, came in sixth.
Turner’s Ben Rowe finished third, and rounding out the top five were Scarborough’s Garrett Hall and Griffith.
Following Theriault and completing the top 10 in the 18-car field were Ellsworth’s Andy Saunders; Gabe Brown of Center Conway, New Hampshire; Wyatt Alexander of Ellsworth; and Turner’s Mike Rowe.
Fort Fairfield’s Kirk Thibeau wound up 13th, Frenchville native and Oxford Plains Speedway regular Shawn Martin was 15th, Bangor’s Gary Smith wound up 16th and Hermon’s Mike Hopkins was 18th.
Spud Speedway owner Troy Haney called it the “smoothest event we’ve ever had in my 10 years owning the track.”
He said they raised approximately $12,000 for the Feed the County charity, which services Aroostook County’s 24 food pantries.
Haney said they had a turnout of approximately 1,500 spectators.
Sweet, making his Spud Speedway debut, built an impressive lead over the first half of the 150-lap race and was starting to lap cars when a series of cautions enabled Shaw to challenge him.
“They raced side by side for most of the second half of the race until Shaw pulled away by a couple of car-lengths,” Haney said. “They put on a show, racing 6 inches apart lap after lap.”
Theriault, he said, had a middle-of-the-pack car, and Martin blew a belt on his car while running in the top three.
Theriault made two public appearances while in the area, and Haney said he was gracious with his time.
“You couldn’t ask for a better representative to help promote Feed the County. He is a class act,” Haney said.
An autographed Theriault shirt was raffled off and earned $500 for Feed the County.
Haney also said the drivers who participated in the PASS Modified race donated $200 to the charity. The Modified racers usually hold a drawing before a race and the winning driver gets a free racing tire but that money was, instead, donated to the charity.
He said he received a lot of positive feedback and hopes to have another Firecracker 200 next summer.