The 2012 season marked a memorable one for Samantha Shaw as she was able to pick up her first feature win, while finishing ninth in points to win Most Improved Driver. Having had the success, she feels confident going into the 2013 season.
“I am more confident in myself and in my car,” she said. “But in the same time, now everybody knows who I am and they expect me to perform so I do off days and I know I am going to have them – I know, I make a lot of mistakes – but I’m just paranoid of screwing up and looking bad.”
Being one of the young female drivers at the track, it is no secret that many girls look up to the 18-year-old as someone they want to be like. During the Younggun’s Panel at the Canadian Motorsports Expo, Shaw recalled a night when two young girls came up to her.
“There was one point in the season where we had a red flag and we were walking around and wound up in the grandstands and signing stuff for people,” Shaw said. “Two little girls came up to me and they were just like excited. Their mom was like ‘I’m sorry. They just really like you. They always cheer for you’”
Being a role model for young girls does help keep her in line, but also the words from her father.
“If I do something stupid, my racecar goes away for the rest of my life,” she said. “I will let it out in the car, in the trailer, and then come out and be relaxed. But if I do have a problem, I try to keep it to myself.”
Shaw comes from a racing family, which includes the success of her uncle Jason Shaw. She also is part of the Spira Racing team, which has seen success in the mini stock division with Billy Schwartzenburg.
“There’s always a constant fight going on between my dad and Ken (Spira) because my dad has this idea from the Late Model world and he treats my car like a late model,” Shaw said. “He doesn’t like to make big changes cause he knows that I won’t drive it. But Ken will go and change all four springs, all four tires.”
Having the experience behind the wheel and touring to other tracks, Shaw has learned her car more.
“I’m definitely more informed,” she said. “I know what the adjustments do so I’m a lot more pickier. Sometimes he will wait till I go away to get food, a drink and he’ll change a bunch of stuff and not tell me about it. And then I’ll go on the track and I’ll be like ‘Okay, what’d you do?’”.
Shaw will return to the Mini Stock division in 2013 at Flamboro Speedway. In the video below, she addresses the fact of whether we will see her move up in the future.