Eddie MacDonald Wins in ACT, Falters in K&N
In what can only be described as a dominant performance, Eddie MacDonald won the American Canadian Tour’s Central Asphalt Paving Generation Next 151 race on Saturday, June 18 at Speedway 51 in Groveton, N.H. to capture his second win of the season. On Friday night, the Grimm Construction Chevy struggled with a very loose racecar to post a 13th place finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.
After a hard crashed at Waterford Speedbowl a few weeks ago that required a new front clip on the Freddie Peterson owned EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Motor Service Chevy, Eddie Mac and the crew were unsure how the car would respond in its first outing after being essentially rebuilt. They were quite pleased with the result as the “The Outlaw” posted the fastest time in practice and started seventh in the 150 lap event on the quarter mile oval.
“We hoped all the work would pay off and it did right from the start,” said Eddie Mac after the race. “The car was fast and handled fantastic in practice, in the heat, and especially the race. We had a very hectic few weeks getting this car put together as well as getting the K&N car ready for Stafford. The guys in the shop worked their tails off to get everything done and I can’t thank them enough for all the time and dedication. We have a small crew but they are big time when it comes to this race team. Both our K&N and ACT crews, and a number of guys do both, do so much for us at the track. I just have to mention track owner Joey Laquerre for the outstanding work he has done at this track. He bought it a couple of years ago (2014) and transformed it into a beautiful facility. It is a pleasure to race here.”
Eddie Mac wasted little time charging to the front when the green flag waved over the 22 car starting field as he quickly raced to third place on lap 12. By lap 25, the leaders caught the back of the pack and had to deal with soon to be heavy lapped traffic. Until lap 66, Eddie Mac was comfortable following the #4 car through heavy traffic until finally making the pass then set his sights on leader Nick Sweet. A lap 77 pass put Eddie Mac in the lead and was never challenged all the way to the checkered flag, The Rowley, Mass. veteran weaved his way through the field lapping cars with only six cars on the lead lap when the race ended.
“The car was absolutely perfect,” said Eddie Mac. “It was a pleasure to drive. The handling allowed me to go inside or outside and it is really a lot of fun when you get a car this good. We are in the fight for the championship so this win will help us gain some ground after Devil’s Bowl when we had to use the back-up car. I am so happy for Sheila and Freddie Peterson, our car owners, to get this win. Derek Beatrice from EXIT Realty is here so that is great to share the win with him. Kenny Thompson from Hancock was with us last night at Stafford but couldn’t make it today and I am sure he is pleased. Our K&N owner Rob Grimm is with us today with his wife Karla and some of his family and we wouldn’t be able to do this without his support. My father is here so it was an early Father’s Day gift, the kind he likes.”
The Stafford 150 was only the second race for the Grimm Construction Team in the highly competitive NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Series this season after finishing eighth at Bristol Motor Speedway earlier this season. The team is scheduled to run five events this season with New Hampshire, Iowa, and Dover races remaining. The series last raced at the half mile oval in 2009 with Eddie Mac winning the event in 2008. Unfortunately the car was not handling well and could not turn in the corners in practice on Thursday. Despite numerous changes the car remained a handful with Eddie Mac saying, “The car was just so loose it didn’t have the speed I needed to get down the straightaways. It is no fun to be out there and not have the car handling. We made more changes on Friday’s final practice but it was still a struggle.”
Eddie Mac qualified 15th as handling quickly became a problem when the green flag waved with the veteran driver saying, “The car was loose but I hoped it would tighten up during the race when things cooled down but it didn’t. I was just hanging on waiting for an early caution but it never came. It wasn’t until later (caution on lap 91) that we were able to come in for an adjustment. It helped the car but we didn’t have anything for the leaders. We came in on the next caution on lap 130 for another adjustment and it was better. We got our lap back and at least we finished on the lead lap but it was a disappointing day to say the least. Hopefully we will get back on track with our next race at Loudon in July. That is our home track and usually run well there. It will be great to see all of our local fans and enjoy the time with them.”
Eddie Mac and the crew will have their hands full with the K&N race scheduled for 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and with the American Canadian Tour race at Seekonk Speedway scheduled later that night around 9:00 p.m. Plans for a helicopter ride are currently in the works.
NBCSN will televise the Stafford 150 on Thursday, June 23 at 5:00 p.m.