Eddie MacDonald Wins Oxford 150 and Finishes Eleventh in the Oxford 250
Eddie MacDonald set the tone Saturday for the huge Oxford 250 weekend at the famed Oxford Plains Speedway in Oxford, Maine with a win in the American Canadian Tour’s Oxford 150. Eddie Mac struggled for most of the Super Late Model Oxford 250 to post an 11th place finish on Sunday.
The ACT win on Saturday gave the Rowley, Mass. racer a series sweep at the Oxford oval in the EXIT Realty/Hancock Electric Chevy and into second place in the quest for the series championship with two points’ events remaining on the schedule.
Eddie Mac started 11th in the 150 lap feature as a result of a +4 rating after finishing third in the heat from the seventh starting position. ACT rules dictate winners of a race cannot start in the top ten positions for the race.
When the green flag waved for the 24 car field, Eddie Mac wasted little time getting the Freddie Peterson owned Chevy towards the front and into third place by lap 25. For a number of laps, Eddie Mac and point’s leader Scott Payea raced side by side for the third spot before Payea was sent to the rear for dumping Chip Grenier on lap 51 to bring out the second of six caution flags. On the restart, Eddie Mac quickly took the lead from 16 year old Evan Hallstrom on lap 52 and held off Jimmy Hebert the rest of the way to post his second win of the season.
“The car was just awesome today and it handled great in the turns and had plenty of power getting off the corners,” said Eddie Mac after the race. “We have had a lot of success at this track and we love winning here. Rollie (LaChance) knows this place so well we have a good idea what we need here. The crew did an outstanding job especially since we are competing in both events this weekend so everyone really has worked hard on both cars.”
With Eddie Mac in the lead, Hebert continued to pressure but did not have enough to make a pass. Two caution flags on lap 97 pitted the two drivers side by side on the restart as Eddie Mac was able to pull away as Hebert had to fall in behind. The #17 Chevy lengthened the lead as it cruised through lapped traffic as Eddie Mac established his dominance. Two Caution flags on lap 126 again pitted the duo side by side but Eddie Mac had the advantage and powered to the win.
“Our car owner Freddie Peterson is a great guy and it is always fun to win one for him and his wife Shelia, “said Eddie Mac. “Thanks also to Derek Beatrice from EXIT Realty and Kenny and Scott Thompson from Hancock Electric for their continued support. As always, none of this is possible without the hard work and dedication of the crew and all the people who tirelessly work for this team.”
With two Oxford 250 wins to his credit, Eddie Mac set his sights on adding a record tying third title but an extremely loose car dashed his hopes as the handling was not there for most of the race. The Dave Lemieux Super Late Model entry finished fourth in the heat relegating the EXIT Realty/Grimm Construction Chevy to a 16th starting position in the 42 car field.
From that point on, the ill handling car continued to slide back in the field before going a lap down on lap 129 of the 250 lap event. The team struggled to get in position for the lucky dog. Eddie Mac pitted on lap 199 for four tires then returned to the pits for more adjustments on lap 206. A pit road penalty forced Eddie Mac to restart the race in the 28th position.
After a red flag on lap 225, Eddie Mac received the “lucky dog” and restarted the race in the 21st position. The tires and adjustments finally kicked in as Eddie Mac was able to pass a number of lead lap cars and lapped cars into the 11th spot but ran out of time.
“This was really disappointing to run like this especially after all the trips here to test and after doing well since Friday,” said Eddie Mac. “Everyone worked so hard and I thought the car was going to be good. I didn’t think we had a winning car but I thought we would be much more competitive than we were. The car was really loose from the start and we finally hit on something but it was just too little too late. ”
“Thanks to car owner Dave Lemieux and Brian Neal for everything they do for us and I hate it for those guys to run like this,” said a frustrated driver after the race.
“We thank Derek Beatrice from EXIT Realty and Rob Grimm from Grimm Construction for their sponsorship. Thanks also to White Birch Brewing for coming on board this weekend. Thanks to all the crew members and people who support us every race.”
Eddie Mac will continue his pursuit of the ACT championship on September 2 in the final Summer Showdown Series at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont in the 200 lap Coca Cola Labor Day Classic with $5,000 on the line for the winner.