By: Dick Casey
When the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East announced the race at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 8 would be named the Busch North Throwback 100, Eddie MacDonald’s first thought was to honor the driver who meant so much to the series and a young impressionable driver. K&N series official’s encouraged current teams to adopt a former Busch North team’s paint scheme. Both Eddie Mac and team owner Rob Grimm quickly decided to wrap the Grimm Construction Chevy in the Aubuchon Hardware paint scheme made famous by their legendary driver, Andy Santerre.
“This is very special that we are able to do this to honor one of the truly great drivers anywhere,” said Eddie Mac while preparing the car for the Thompson race. “I have always looked up to Andy as a driver and as a person. What made him so great just wasn’t just his incredible driving ability but the way he treated everyone. Andy would go out of his way to help anyone even though he was competing against that driver. He wanted everyone to do well and knew that made the series stronger. If there was one driver to emulate, it was Andy.”
On Tuesday Warren Hamilton arrived at the Newburyport shop to begin the transformation from the #71 Grimm Construction Chevy to the green , white, and orange color scheme that frequented many victory lanes during Santerre’s record breaking career and that brought back a memory shared by Eddie Mac and Rob Grimm.
“I was talking with Rob and we were both excited about the wrap and talked about our first race together at Thompson in 2007,” said Eddie Mac. “Rob had just purchased the team and he recalled that during our practice we lost our power steering pump. We didn’t have a spare and all of a sudden there is Andy with a pump for us to use. That is the kind of guy Andy was and is still to this day. Rob never forgot Andy’s act of kindness and that established the type of atmosphere he wanted for his team.”
Practice for the Busch North Throwback 100 will begin on Friday on the fast, high-banked 5/8ths of a mile oval and the fantastic news is that Andy will be on hand to help Eddie Mac and the team prepare the car for the race. Andy will also be on hand on Saturday to be honored along with past Busch North drivers. Thompson hosted the North series for over twenty years and the K&N series returns to the track for the first time in eight years.
“I am just so happy to be able to represent Andy this weekend,” said Eddie Mac. “Now I just hope we can run as fast as him!’