By: Dick Casey
Eddie MacDonald posted a 12th place finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Dover 125 in the series final race of the season. For 125 laps Eddie Mac drove the Grimm Construction/Multiple Sclerosis Chevy from his 24th starting position and into the fifth spot for the final two lap shootout after a late race caution only to be wrecked one lap short of the checkered flag.
Two early morning practices and qualifying were scrubbed as rain plagued the Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware for much of the week. K&N officials replaced qualifying with one forty minute practice session for the 27 car field. Eddie Mac did post the 15th fastest time but was forced to start 24th due to points standing for the four previous races he ran in the series.
When the green flag waved at 5 pm and the threat of more rain looming, the #71 Chevy struggled to advance over the first 32 laps and was in danger of being lapped when the first caution flag waved, the first of seven for twenty-six laps, but certainly the most important. Crew chief Rollie LaChance made the call to make a three turn wedge adjustment amounting to approximately 3/16ths of an inch during the pit stop and that made all the difference.
The Rob Grimm owned Chevy restarted 15th thanks to a number of cars pitting but the adjustment made the car come alive to produce speed off the turns as Eddie Mac began moving to the front saying, “Rollie made a great call and the car really responded. I couldn’t turn in the corners and that killed my speed down the straights and you need to keep the speed up at this place. It is a fast high-banked mile and the speeds are incredible and if you miss it you will have a long day. Fortunately, the car responded and I was able to drive it to the front.”
After the halfway break, Eddie Mac restarted 13th then began picking off the competition with methodical precision. By lap 72, the Rowley, Mass. veteran passed the #6 car of Ruben Garcia, the driver later responsible with wrecking Eddie Mac’s car, tried unsuccessfully to spin Eddie Mac at that time. Now riding in the top ten, Eddie Mac drove to the seventh position on lap 92 and into fifth place when the caution flag waved on lap 119. Another caution flag on lap 123 proved to be the undoing of any sense of skilled driving as Garcia dive-bombed the field on the back stretch then proceeded to drive it in too hard coming out of turn four to crash into the left corner of the #71 to send it hard into the outside wall with Eddie Mac only yards from taking the white flag, then limped around to get the 12th position. The bonsai driving also wrecked two other cars, including his teammate, to total three cars to gain one position for fifth instead of sixth in the race.
“That kid was just determined to wreck us,” said a very mad Eddie Mac on the radio. “The car was so good and we were going to have a solid fifth place finish but the #6 just ruined it. You guys did a great job and I thank you for all your hard work. I know we had a big Grimm contingent come down from Waymart. Pa. and it would have been nice to finish fifth but the #6 was willing to wreck cars to get to fifth to gain one spot. Thank everyone for all the hard work and effort this season and thanks especially for the support of Rob Grimm and his family. I wish everyone will support the Multiple Sclerosis Association with a donation. Thank you everyone and hope to see you all again next season. Finally I want to congratulate Justin Haley for winning the series championship.
The Dover 125 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, October 6, at 4p.m.