Eddie MacDonald, driver of the #71 Grimm Construction Chevy, opened his K&N Pro Series East season scoring a tenth place finish on Saturday, April 22, in the rain-shortened Zombie Auto 125 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Inclement weather plagued the annual April NASCAR Cup weekend forcing delays and postponements in the Xfinity and Cup race.
The K&N race began two hours late, then just ran out of time as another huge cell drenched the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” after running 70 laps of the scheduled 125 laps. The Rowley, Mass. veteran felt the shortened event cost a top five finish saying, “The car was fast before the break and we thought with the small adjustments at the half-time break we would be able to gain a number of positions in the second stage. Unfortunately we never got the chance.”
Rain caused the cancellation of qualifying on Friday and cut practice time in half. The starting grid was set by points and last year’s schedule relegating Eddie Mac to start in the 18th spot since this was the team’s first K&N start this season. When the green flag finally waved over the 26 car-field, Eddie Mac moved to the bottom groove and began moving to the front. By the first caution flag on lap 11, the Rob Grimm owned ride gained six positions to ride comfortably in the 12th spot. On lap 17 a caution slowed the field with Eddie Mac in seventh place. However, when NASCAR set the field for the restart, Eddie Mac was surprisingly moved back to the 12th position.
“I was very surprised I was moved to 12th since I thought I clearly had the seventh spot well before the caution flag,” said the disappointed driver. “The car was working great and really sticking on the bottom so this was definitely a set-back since Rollie told me over the radio that rain was in the area. I was able to get back two of the spots before the next caution. It was just spitting a little but by the time we had the half-way break to make our adjustments it started pouring. It was a shame because both Rollie and I thought we could get to the top five after just freeing up the car a little. As I said, we never found out and that’s a shame because the car was very good.”
“The crew did an awesome job all weekend,” said Eddie Mac. “The rain definitely made things more difficult and I really have the thank everyone for their effort. I want to wish Chuck Grimm, Rob’s dad, a speedy recovery from a recent illness. He was supposed to be here as usual but is recovering at home. I have the best guys for sure but special thanks have to go to crew member Kenny Grooms who became a great grandfather while he was working here at the track. That is the kind of dedication our crew brings every race.”
Of course, we all have to thank Rob Grimm for doing this,” said Eddie. “We have been doing this together for over a decade now and it is all thanks to him. Rob and Karla have treated us like family and we appreciate everything they have done for us.”
The Grimm Construction/Multiple Sclerosis Chevy is scheduled next to compete at Thompson Motorsports Park in Connecticut on July 8.
Follow Eddie Mac on Twitter: @EddieMac71