By: Dick Casey
Eddie MacDonald traveled to Wisconsin to race in the ARCA Midwest Tour’s Father’s Day 100 at the 106 year old Milwaukee Mile and despite the ninth place finish, the veteran racer made quite an impression on those in attendance. Eddie Mac started the 100 lap event on the pole and rode up front for much of the race until a very tight condition cost him in the end.
A deal some months ago with local car owner Dave Lemieux and Pathfinder Chassis’ owner Joe Wood set the stage for Eddie Mac and crew chief Rollie LaChance to participate at the legendary track. Lemieux purchased a Pathfinder chassis a number of years ago from the Wisconsin based builder and Wood has been so impressed with Eddie Mac and the East coast team, he asked to partner with the team for the event. The crew at Pathfinder built the Super Late Model while Lemieux provided the engine and transmission.
“It was a great experience to race the Milwaukee Mile and we had a lot of fun with Joe Wood and the crew,” said Eddie Mac. “They built a beautiful car and we had plenty of power thanks to our engine builder Paul Rinaldi. The car was very tight from the beginning with Saturday’s practice. The crew never stopped working making changes to get us better. The car was better for Sunday’s race and we had a stroke of luck that put us on the pole.”
The stroke of luck was in reference was the decision to invert the field. The top eleven cars were to be inverted plus a number picked by the pole winner added to that number, which was a six to total 17. Eddie Mac qualified 17th so he inherited the pole position to start the race. He quickly proved it was no fluke he belonged up front.
When the green flag waved over the 32-car field, Eddie Mac held the lead over the stellar starting grid for the first 15 laps before slipping to 4th due to the tight condition. The decision was made to take two tires, only six were allowed for the race, during the first of the two completion cautions on lap 35. Eddie Mac restarted in the sixth position and by lap 68 was running in the third spot. The second competition caution on lap 80 saw a number of cars pit to take on their tires.
When racing resumed the #17Ma had the lead on lap 84 but the combination of the tight car and cars with fresher tires found the Rowley, Mass. driver falling back steadily and into ninth when the green flag waved.
“It was a lot of fun until the very end when the car was so tight it just would not turn in the corners,” said Eddie Mac. “I could really pull people down the straights with the power we had but I was getting beat in the turns. I have to thank Joe Wood and his crew for everything they did. They are a great bunch of guys and were fun to be around. Thanks to our car owner Dave Lemieux for putting this all together so we could race at such an historic track. The people out there really support their racing. Despite the cold, rainy day thousands of fans were there.”
“Of course, spending Father’s Day with my father there was really special,” said Eddie Mac. “He has been there with me my whole career and I can’t thank him and my Mom enough for all the love and support.”
Eddie Mac returns to New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon for this week’s Short Track Showdown June 22-23 in the Dave Lemieux owned Super Late Model with practice on Saturday and the race on Sunday. Eddie Mac has won the event twice and is looking for a third title.