Erroneous Call Cost Eddie MacDonald a Win and Possible ACT Championship at Thompson
With four laps left in the final race of the season to determine the American Canadian Tour Champion at Thompson’s World Series of Racing, Eddie Mac had an opportunity to not only win the ACT 75 lap event but also win a championship that appeared improbable at best prior to the race trailing Payea by 25 points. However, the erroneous call by race director Chris Michaud to send Eddie Mac to the rear for “his involvement” in the lap 71 caution dashed any hope to do the impossible.
That decision was made quickly and was immediately proved incorrect with video evidence provided by the Speed51 camera mounted in Eddie Mac’s car prior to the race and recorded the entire incident. The video shows both the #5 and the #2 bouncing off one another all the way down the backstretch and both losing control and turning sideways. The video clearly shows Eddie Mac, who was running fourth on the outside, was not responsible for the wreck and the erroneous call cost him the win and the potential championship.
“I could not believe I was sent to the rear for something I had no part in causing,’ said a fuming Eddie Mac after the race. “Those guys had been banging each other for quite a few laps and the #2 hit the #5 the final time and sent them both sideways. I was close but I knew the wreck was on them, not me. The decision was made quickly and ended up costing us the win, the championship, and over $12,000. With so much on the line, that decision needed to be looked at closely and not made in haste. Anyone can watch the video and see the #5 was sideways as a result of the leaders banging into each other. All the hard work and effort for everyone associated with this team was all for naught with a hasty decision. I made my feelings known to Chris (Michaud) after the race in hopes that he will learn from this. With a championship on the line, you have to take your time and get the call right. He did not do either.”
Eddie Mac started the feature in 11th after winning the heat race. Any winner of a previous race cannot start in the top ten. For the first 41 laps, the Freddie Peterson owned EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy trailed point’s leader Payea who blocked Eddie Mac before finally making the pass. Eddie Mac then began his drive to the front and was in sixth by lap 50. With 25 laps to go, Eddie Mac battled door to door with the #22 until the first caution of the race on lap 67. From that point on, five more cautions would bunch the field for the final laps. Eddie Mac rode in fourth place on the lap 68 restart, with the #5, #2, and #40 ahead of him on the grid. With four to go, the two leaders got together again but this time both spun out and Eddie Mac, running in fourth on the outside, was flagged for the wreck. It is almost impossible for a car on the outside running fourth to spin the leader on the inside. Eddie Mac was sent to the rear and finished 12th, the result of a terrible call.
Not only was a terrible call made on the track, series owner and race director Chris Michaud continued to further make another bad decision when car owner Freddie Peterson approached him near tech and next to the #17’s pit, and Peterson was met with an expletive filled roaring rant. Complete with multiple F-bombs, Freddie Peterson was told by race director and series owner Michaud that he did not need or want his team in his series. For decades, Freddie Peterson has been a loyal supporter of the ACT Series and certainly deserved better treatment and respect from Michaud who chose to scream obscenities in front of the assembled crowd. Michaud needs to apologize for his childish actions to Freddie Peterson with a phone call then publically apologize on the ACT website since Michaud chose to unleash his tirade in public.
In response to Michaud’s statement that he does not need Freddie Peterson in his series, the answer is simple. Yes you do! With the disappearance of quality teams and drivers recently from the series, Michaud can ill afford to lose one of the most dedicated and classy owners in Freddie Peterson.
“This is a terrible way to end the season but Rollie and I are so proud of the effort of our team today,” said Eddie mac. “We were hit in the right side of the car during the heat and this team jumped right in to fix the damage with Freddie leading the way. They did a great job and the car was ready to go for the race. This team has done this the entire season and we could not ask for a better group of guys. We also thank Derek Beatrice from EXIT Realty, Scott and Kenny Thompson from Hancock Electric, and Rob Grimm from Grimm Construction. None of this would be possible without the sincere effort from all these people. We are truly blessed to have such terrific people associated with this team. I thank my girlfriend Kelyn Harrell for the support and understanding that racing consumes so much of your time. Thanks to all our fans for their support and wish everyone a good year.”