As one of drivers for Spira Racing, Samantha Shaw continues to grow as a driver each year in the Mini Stock division. Last season at Flamboro Speedway, Shaw put together a solid season while making some trips to Sunset Speedway. In her limited schedule at Sunset, Shaw was able to score five heat wins, along with five top-10 feature finishes.
After competing full time at Flamboro Speedway for the past couple of years, Shaw will make the move to Sunset Speedway to join fellow Spira Racing driver Jake Watson on the full-time roster.
Between getting her car ready and studying at university, Shaw took some time to answer the 15 lovely questions.
1. How’d you get started in racing?
So ever since I was born, I was at a different track every weekend, traveling with the Alstar series with my dad. When the Alstar series ended, Jake started running weekly at Flamboro, so we headed there every Saturday. After a few years, once I turned 14, I ran Ken Spira’s car (yes the same car Billy Schwartzenburg drives now) for a season to see if racing was really something I wanted to do, since I’d never raced anything before.
2. First racing memory
Most of them are pretty fuzzy, because I really didn’t pay attention to the actual racing until I was older; I was mostly there to see my dad. My favorite memory has to be probably the 2006 Beat the Heat 150. The entire race team (really the entire family, plus extended family, and very close friends) rented a cottage and had bonfires, and probably the best part of that weekend was the bike ride we went on. We found a BMX track, and being the toddlers we are at heart, had to get on it and race (yes, the adults too).
Another first memory would be singing the national anthem at Sauble Speedway in 2002 with two of my cousins when their usual anthem singer didn’t show up. It’s a cute memory, but not as fun as the first one.
3. If you could be sponsored by any beverage, which would you want to be sponsored by?
Does booster juice count? I have an addiction to their smoothies.
4. Story behind your car number
I’ve always been extremely close with my grandpa, and 81 is the number he still runs on his Canadian Vintage Modified, so I chose it for him. He’ll never admit it out loud, but I think he was pretty happy when I picked it. Little things like that make the biggest differences in someone’s day to day life.
If I remember right, when I asked grandpa why he had No. 81 (hoping for a cool story), he said that was the number the track gave him when he and his brother showed up with their demo car, and asked for a number that was easy to duct tape to the side of the car.
5. If you have a nickname, what is it and why? If not, what do you think should be a good nickname?
I don’t have a nickname… I’m not sure if I need a nickname. My last name does all sorts of talking for me – I have people telling me things about my family that even I didn’t know all the time.
If I had to pick one I’d probably just say princess – because people call me that anyway. Probably because I’m really sassy and sarcastic…
6. If you could race against any NASCAR driver, who and why?
Any of them? I’d probably pick Johanna Long. I would say Jimmie Johnson or Kasey Kahne – because they’re my favorites – but Johanna is so good, and so nice. It sucks that she’s so under-appreciated. She needs Danica (Patrick)’s ride; she knows how to drive. I feel like she’d be a really good teacher; I’d be able to learn a lot from her.
7. What’s your life like outside of racing? Hobbies?
Currently I’m in university so that is basically my entire life. Hopefully when I’m done I’ll come out the other side with a doctorate in veterinary medicine, but we’ll see where life takes me.
Hobbies? Do I even have hobbies anymore? I feel like I just do homework and work on the racecar… I’m kidding, sort of. I really love music; if I get stressed out or upset I will lock myself in my room and sing and dance like nobody’s watching (I can’t believe I’m admitting that but oh well). Another hobby of mine is horseback riding. I started riding when I was four, and just recently had to stop because I went away for school.
8. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
Animals have to rely on the compassion in the human heart to decide the quality of their lives, and even when they’re treated horribly, they keep coming back and they love you unconditionally. Animals are better than people, and I hate that they get treated so horribly by a select few.
If I had to choose one animal, I’d be either a monkey, because their families are close-knit, and they basically climb trees all day which is definetly my idea of fun… or maybe I’d be a Hawk, so I could fly around the world if I wanted, and see everything.
9. Favourite pizza topping
I’m a really lame person and I don’t put anything on my pizza… (Don’t judge me okay)
10. Dream vacation spot
I would have to say I’d do Daytona / New Smyrna again. That vacation was my definition of a perfect lifestyle. Beach all morning, racetrack all night, then do it all again the next day. Talk about heaven.
11. If you were stuck on an island, what would you have to have?
Music. I’d have myself a little deserted island party for one.
12. Favourite book
I love the Hunger Games Trilogy, and the Divergent Trilogy…as well as the Jack Reacher series.
13. Favourite movie
This is an impossible question, I’m not sure… Mean Girls, Frozen, Days of Thunder, Divergent, Hunger Games, Catching Fire.
14. Favourite piece of technology
Either my phone or my laptop… Love my internet!
15. Sponsors/people you’d like to thank
- My dad, for working on the car without fail while I’m away at school, and being the most patient teacher, he’s taught me everything I know.
- Ken & Carol Spira, for giving me the chance to start racing all those years ago, and being the most supportive sponsor I’ve got.
- My family, for coming to as many races as possible – I know it’s hard when we’re all racing at different tracks, but I know you guys are pulling for me no matter where you are, thank you.
Main Sponsors: Spira Fire Protection, Lucas Oil Products, Rockwood Roof Trusses and Components Ltd., Gunk, Fleet Image
Supporting Sponsors: Artik Ice, Chetty’s Hot Sauce, Dominion Sure Seal, Erb & Erb Insurance Brokers, Nuco, PlastiKote, Pro Treadz, Process Group, Victaulic, Wix Filters, Wolseley
Be sure to like Samantha Shaw’s facebook page to keep up with her all season long at https://www.facebook.com/81Shaw.
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