March 8, 2014 10:56:16 PM
MILLPORT, Ala. -- Jeremy Shaw didn't have the type of results he anticipated in 2013.
The Millport native switched the chassis on his 1S crate late model car from a Trak-Star chassis to a GRT chassis last season, and though he had five wins, he didn't match his form of 2012, when he won 10 races.
Success in dirt-track racing, though, can come down to the most minor of adjustments.
Shaw, driver of the No. 1S car, has gone back to a suspension setup used in 2012. Thus far, he has had a pair of positive finishes, a runner-up finish at the end of 2013 and a third-place finish at the Frostbuster 250 at Magnolia Motor Speedway.
"We changed up a few things on our car, some suspension geometry and a shocks package to get back to what we ran a couple of years ago," said Shaw, 29. "We tried some unfamiliar things, but the changes we've made so far have made a difference.
"One of the worst finishes I had in 2012 was seventh. Consistency is the key; you may not be able to win all of them, but you want to be in contention. We just weren't able to do that last year."
Shaw's goals this year are to run well at the NeSmith crate series events, the first of which in the Golden Triangle will be at Magnolia Motor Speedway during Memorial Day Weekend. Shaw has won three NeSmith events since 2011 and took home $5,000 at a NeSmith event at Greenville in the fall of 2012.
The weekly points races throughout the region are on Shaw's radar, too. He plans to run as many weekly races at tracks like Magnolia and Arkadelphia Speedway in Jasper, Ala., and assess his position in the points standings in mid-summer. If he's doing well enough by then, he'll race every weekend.
In either scenario, attention to detail with his race car will be key to duplicating the success he had in 2012.
"You're talking about an eighth of an inch here or there can make the difference between top-two finishes and landing between eighth and 10th," Shaw said. "Everyone runs the same engine in this class, so it comes back to driver and setup. The guys we run against around here are so competitive. You can go other places and it not show up, but around here, guys are so good you have to be close to perfect."
Helping in that quest is Shaw Motorsports teammate Kyle Shaw (no relation). Kyle and Jeremy have been friends since elementary school and got into racing together during high school, Jeremy said. Kyle's father also served as Jeremy's crew chief, and his brother-in-law, Jason Brock, runs super late models. Kyle and Jeremy work on each other's cars in the evenings.
"It's a great setup," Jeremy said. "With having that competition level and being able to share information like that. It's always evolving. You can have one thing that works, then you get on a roll, but eventually people are going to catch up to it. We're always searching for little ways to get faster."
n Back to action: Magnolia Motor Speedway will get back to action March 22 with a weekly racing series event. Columbus Motor Speedway will return to action March 29 with a weekly racing series event.
n Correction: The admission costs for races at Columbus Motor Speedway was incorrect in a story last month. Grandstand admission typically will range from $10-15, while pit admission typically ranges from $25-30. For more information on the cost of tickets and pit admission for events at Columbus Motor Speedway, contact Joe Ables at 574-6808 or go to www.columbusspeedway.net.