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MacDonald Gunning For Second Oxford 250 Win

- Justin St. Louis on 14 Jul 2010

OXFORD, Me. -- Mike Rowe may be the all-time “King” of Oxford Plains Speedway, but each passing race there recently has been another act in The Eddie MacDonald Show.

MacDonald enters Sunday’s TD Bank Oxford 250 as the defending winner of the race, considered one of the top short track events in the country. NASCAR drivers Brad Keselowski and Jeffrey Earnhardt have also entered the race, which was won by current Sprint Cup Series point leader Kevin Harvick in 2008.

In addition to his ‘250’ score last July, MacDonald has also swept a pair of American-Canadian Tour events at Oxford Plains this season and has a third ACT victory to his credit there in 2007. The Rowley, Mass., driver is the clear-cut favorite for the win this weekend, but that’s not necessarily a position he’s happy to be in.

“I was hoping we weren’t going to be the favorite this year,” said MacDonald. “Two years ago we were and we [finished eighth]. Last year we were sort of under the radar and we were able to sneak in and win it.”

MacDonald is a perennial championship contender on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East but moonlights in Late Model events like the TD Bank 250 and ACT events. The relative lack of attention that his low-budget, all-volunteer team gives its Late Model program is becoming a running joke in the northeast; what is not a joke is the car’s winning record, which also includes a trip to victory lane at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last September.

“We’re getting there,” MacDonald chuckles. “I used to go up to the 250 years ago never thinking I would ever be able to compete [for the win], back when Ralph Nason was just killing everyone up there. We never had the greatest Pro Stock, but we always had a Late Model laying around. The rules worked out [in 2007] and we were able to put our Late Model together at a reasonable price and we were able to make it competitive.”

MacDonald says that while the his K&N cars are the priority, keeping the Late Model up to speed is a serious thing, even if it doesn’t get as much love. “The rules make us able to afford it on our own, and we’re able to play with the Late Model even with all the other stuff we’re doing. Our goal every year is to go up and win the 250.”

Now that he has an Oxford 250 trophy on his mantle -- and cashed a winner’s check totaling $35,300 a year ago -- MacDonald is part of a legendary list of former race winners, one that includes the likes of Harvick, Junior Hanley, Butch Lindley, and three-time winners Nason, Rowe, and Dave Dion. MacDonald, who turned 30 last week, understands the history of the Oxford 250 and knows the weight that a win in the race carries, but he’s focused on the here and now.

“Everywhere we go a lot of people know what it is, and everyone in the northeast knows how huge it is,” said MacDonald of the event. “It was pretty cool to win last year. I got a million phone calls after the race. Later on down the road when I’m looking back on things it might sink in, but I guess it hasn’t yet.

“Right now I just want to get back-to-back wins and then hopefully three in a row. It’s a huge race and right now we’re just trying to put in a lot of effort to win it again.”

SEASON OPENERS

ACT LATE MODEL TOUR
Feb. 13/14, 2011
New Smyrna Speedway
New Smyrna Beach, FL

MODIFIED RACING SERIES
March 27, 2011
Waterford Speedbowl
Waterford, CT

PASS NORTH SUPER LATE MODELS
April 30, 2011
Beech Ridge Motor Speedway
Scarborough, ME

SPRINT CARS OF NEW ENGLAND
2011 Schedule TBA

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