By: Dick Casey
Winning the final race of the season is always the sweetest and Eddie MacDonald did just that with a dominant performance in the American Canadian Tour’s 75 lap feature at Thompson Motor Sports Park Sunoco World Series of Racing Saturday night. The victory was especially sweet after a disappointing 11th place finish in the Pro Stock feature on Friday night.
Saturday’s ACT Late Model practice was reduced to one half hour due to morning rain but the EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy ran in the top three and posted a +3 rating in the heat. Eddie Mac started fifth then raced to a second place finish to receive the fifth starting position for the season finale on the fast, high-banked 5/8th of a mile oval.
When the green flag waved, Eddie Mac wasted little time charging to the front and into the second spot by lap seven. The first caution flag flew on lap 11 (the first of six including a red flag) reset the field with Eddie Mac on the outside pole. The veteran racer then powered past the #4 to the lead on the restart only to give it back to the #4 after a lap 14 caution. However, the Freddie Peterson owned Chevy challenged for the lead then powered to the top spot on lap 19. A series of cautions plagued the first 28 laps yet Eddie Mac’s dominant restarts were no match for any competitors.
After the final restart on lap 28, Eddie Mac pulled away from the field over the remaining laps to post the win with the closest challenger a straight away behind with the veteran driver saying, “This car was a lot of fun to drive today. I could drive it anywhere and it was great in the turns. This is such a fast track you need all the speed you can get coming out of the turns and this car had it today. The first part of the race was pretty rough with all the cautions but I was able to get great restarts. Everything worked well today and it is awesome to win here.”
“Rollie (LaChance) had a great set-up in the car today and the crew worked hard like they always do to give me the best car and our tire guy and spotter Dave “Logger” Ricker did a great job calling the race.” said Eddie Mac. “This makes up a little for last night when the right rear tire went flat halfway through the Pro Stock race while we were running third. We won the first PASS race here in the spring and to win the final ACT race here is really something special.”
“Our car owner Freddie Peterson and his wife Sheila have been fantastic and to win this tonight with them and their daughter April here is awesome. I have to wish another important contributor to this team, Bobby Wood a speedy recovery after recent surgery. Thanks to our sponsors particularly Kenny and Scott Thompson from Hancock Electric in Quincy, Mass. and Derek Beatrice from EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates in Middleton, Mass., as well as our K&N owner Rob Grimm. There are always so many people necessary to make this possible, we are very fortunate. “
As noted, the 60 lap Pro Stock feature on Friday night began with Eddie Mac on the pole when the field was inverted from first to ninth position. The Dave Lemieux owned Chevy struggled with a tight condition in practice and continued in the first heat race. Starting sixth, Eddie Mac was able to drive to the fourth position but slipped back to fifth as a result of the tight condition. Adjustments were made to loosen up the car for the feature.
With the inverted line-up posted, Eddie Mac took the green flag to lead the field for the first 15 laps before Griffiths took the lead. Despite regaining the top spot briefly on a lap 15 restart, Eddie Mac dropped to third behind Griffiths and Randstrom. A lap 31 restart after a caution ended any chance of winning when the right rear began going down finally sending the Rowley, Mass. driver to the pits on lap 40. Returning to the track three laps down, the EXIT Realty/Annie Mac Home Mortgages Chevy completed the final 20 laps to post the 11th place run.
“It was not the finish we were looking for and I feel bad the way it ended,” said Eddie Mac. “After winning here in the spring, we felt we had a pretty good chance to get the win but we fought the car being tight. I don’t know if we had anything for the top two guys but I think we were a top three car. I have to thank car owner Dave Lemieux and Brian Neal for everything they have done this season. We have the same crew on both the late model and pro stock and we can’t thank those guys enough plus the guys who work in the shop. We are very fortunate to have such a group of talented and dedicated people associated with our team.”
“Special thanks to all our fans and supporters and I hope everyone has a great off season, “said Eddie Mac. “We will probably take a little break then get back at it for next season. Have fun and stay safe.”