OXFORD — D.J. Shaw looked at the lap counter on the scoreboard hovering over turn two at Oxford Plains Speedway and decided it was time to get going.

Shaw, the two-time and defending Pro All Stars Series champion, took the lead from Wayne Helliwell Jr. with eight laps remaining on Sunday to win the PASS Open 100 and guarantee himself a starting spot in next month’s Oxford 250. Shaw, from Center Conway, New Hampshire, charged from fifth to the lead over the final 60 laps to secure the victory.

“The car was coming on. I looked at the scoreboard, and it showed lap 66, and I’d been working Wayne over for a while,” Shaw said. “I was trying to keep myself on the bottom in case there was a restart. … I used both lanes to catch Wayne. I crossed over and he gave me the (inside) lane, and we raced great together.”

Helliwell held on for second over Turner’s Glen Luce, while Tracy Gordon of Strong finished fourth after leading the race twice for a total of 49 laps.

“The car just got too loose,” Gordon said.

If there was any consolation for Gordon, who won the track championship at Oxford Plains in 1991, it was that he, too, earned a provisional starting position in the Oxford 250 — a race he has tried his entire career to win. The top three finishers in the Open 100 who had not won a PASS race in the last five years earned Oxford 250 provisionals. In addition to Gordon, those spots were awarded to Adam Polvinen of Hebron and Dave Farrington Jr. of Jay, who finished fifth and sixth, respectively.

This year’s Oxford 250 is on Aug. 27.

“My goal is to win the 250 and not (just qualify),” said Gordon, who never ran outside the top three through the first 75 laps of the race. “I guess we’re in the 250 now, anyway, but it’s not good when you pretty much dominate and lead the first two-thirds of the race.”

The race really started to take shape following the final caution period on lap 47. Helliwell, of Pelham, New Hampshire, and last summer’s Oxford 250 champion, jumped to the outside of Gordon by half a car length to take the lead for a brief seven-lap spell before finally giving up the goose and settling in behind the race’s early leader.

After 20 laps of following in Gordon’s tire tracks, and with Shaw starting to close the gap and make it a three-car race out front, Helliwell finally was able to squeeze under Gordon for the lead on lap 74. He seemed for a moment as if he would simply march off to the win, as he’d done in the Oxford 250 last August, but Shaw was presented with his opportunity on lap 82 in the form of the lapped No. 63 of John Salemi.

With Helliwell picked off, Shaw motored to the front and Helliwell could not reel him back in.

“He was rolling the center like I was earlier, so I guess he was just repaying the favor,” Helliwell said. “We caught the lapped car and D.J. jumped the curb at the same time and kind of got in my door. I just whoa’d up and, ultimately, that’s what probably lost us the race.”

“I had to use the lapped car as a pick a little bit, but all in all, I think we had the best car at the end,” Shaw said. “We were able to sail away there.”

Pole-sitter Dennis Spencer Jr., of South Paris, led the first 18 laps and remained in contention until the final restart on lap 48. He suffered a cut right front tire while in a three-wide battle for second with Shaw and Polvinen and faded to finish 25th in the 30-car field, 33 laps down.

Nineteen of the 30 starters finished on the lead lap.

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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