Eddie MacDonald staged an impressive door-to-door battle in the closing laps with Nick Sweet to capture his first win in the American Canadian Tour event at Airborne Park Speedway in Plattsburgh, N.Y. in the Spring Green 116 on Saturday, May 14. Eddie Mac powered the Exit Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy to the lead on lap 107 and held on to the lead to post his sixth ACT win of his career.
“This is really a great win and to do it against Nick and Patrick (Laperle) is one of those races you remember forever,” beamed the veteran racer. “We had so many things go our way today, especially the weather. At the halfway mark the rain came and I thought our day might be done with a sixth place run but the officials kept us out there for 25 minutes to keep the track dry. It was a great call on their part and gave us the opportunity to win it.”
Eddie Mac started the 116 lap race on the half-mile oval in 13th place after an even rating in the heat with the winner saying, “I was a little concerned after the heat because we started in third place and didn’t pass a car. The handling wasn’t great so I didn’t know what to expect. However the car didn’t change for the worse and actually got a little better after the rain break and I was able to drive it to the front. I think the leaders fell off a bit and that helped me as well as the lapped cars.”
With the possibility of rain looming, Eddie Mac began his charge immediately after the green flag and ran in the sixth position when the yellow flag waved for rain on lap 60 with Eddie saying, “This was a tough race and I had to fight for every spot. We never seemed to do well here so when the car reacted the way it did, I thought we had a chance. I drove it hard right from the beginning and it paid off. The tires held and I wasn’t sideways coming off the turns.”
On lap 82 Eddie Mac rode Patrick Laperle’s bumper and finally passed the Canadian driver on lap 93 then set his sights on Sweet saying, “Patrick was very tough as usual and it took a number of laps to clear him and when I caught Nick I knew it would be a battle to the end. It took ten laps to catch him and another five to pass him. We were in lapped traffic and I was able to use one of the cars as a pick to finally make the pass. My car was able to run on the outside and that made all the difference. It was a fantastic battle for the win.”
The Rowley, Mass. driver made the pass on lap 107 then put a couple of lapped cars between himself and Sweet to take the checkered flag almost a second ahead for the impressive win. Eddie Mac and Rollie (LaChance- crew chief) committed to run for the ACT championship this season and the win put the team back in contention after a couple of disappointing finishes with Eddie Mac saying, “We definitely needed this win and now we have to go and get more. It is never easy to win in this series with all the great drivers and teams, so every win is special. It is our goal to win the championship so this is a great start.”
Of course, Rollie and I could not do this without the hard work of the crew and the support of team owners Sheila and Freddie Peterson. This is our first win with Exit Realty and Hancock Electric as our primary sponsors and we are thankful to Derek Beatrice and Kenny and Scott Thompson for their support. I have to give a special shout-out to Jolene Drandson who does our social media and keeps all our fans at home informed through our Grimm Racing Buddies site. So many people tell me how much they enjoy Jolene’s reporting. We also thank HMS, Schroth Racing, and Stilo for the support. It was great to have my father and Kelyn (Harrell) there to share this.”
The ACT Tour returns to battle next Saturday, May 21, for a 100 lap event at Waterford Speedbowl in the first leg of the Southern New England Tripleheader championship.