Touring Series News
MacDonald Attempting New Hampshire Triple
PHOTO: Eddie MacDonald feels he has a chance to win two of his three starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. (Leif Tillotson photo)
Sylvania 300 weekend coverage presented by New England Dirt Track Championships and Subway of VT/NH
LOUDON, N.H. -- Eddie MacDonald will be a busy guy at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. The “Outlaw” will live up to his nickname by competing in three different events at the Loudon, N.H., mile.
MacDonald will compete in his regular Rob Grimm-owned ride with the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, his moonlighting gig with the American-Canadian Tour in a Late Model car he and crew chief Rollie LaChance co-own, and will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with Grimm.
The Rowley, Mass., driver arrives at the track on Thursday for practice and qualifying for the K&N Series. Friday, it’s Truck practice and the 125-lap K&N race. Saturday, it’s qualifying and a 175-lap event in the Truck, and the 60-lap ACT Invitational event. MacDonald will spread not only himself thin, but also his team -- the same core group of crew members will service all three vehicles.
“It sounds like a lot, but the schedule actually works out pretty well,” says MacDonald, who, between K&N and ACT, is a four-time winner at New Hampshire. “Most of the hard work is really on Thursday with the K&N car, which is our primary focus. NASCAR impounds that car until about 4:00 on Friday afternoon before the race, so we’ll shift gears and be able to focus on the truck that day. Saturday is a short ACT practice and then we focus on the truck again. We’ll probably have to hire the retirement crew to get the ACT car through tech, but all in all it should be manageable. The rest is just racing.”
MacDonald will try to build some positive momentum in the K&N Pro Series East New Hampshire 125; as the two-time defending winner of the September NHMS event, he sits ninth in championship standings with just a single top-five through eight races in 2010.
“It definitely hasn’t been the best year,” MacDonald said. “With the K&N car we’re fast here and there, and we’ve had a top-three car a lot of times, but we had a flat tire at Martinsville (Va.) when we were running second and had another flat tire at Greenville (S.C.) when we were in fourth. There’s only ten races this year and you’ve got to be on your game. We’ve had some bad luck.”
MacDonald’s Late Model season has been a bit better: In three starts, all at Oxford Plains Speedway, MacDonald has yet to be beaten. He won ACT events in May and June, then won his second-straight TD Bank Oxford 250 in July. He enters the ACT Invitational as the defending winner of that race, too.
The Camping World Truck event, the TheRaceDayRaffleSeries.com 175, will be a debut for more than just MacDonald, LaChance, and Grimm; driving an ex-Roush Fenway Racing chassis, the team will test the NASCAR ‘spec’ engine currently employed on the K&N Pro Series in their truck.
“We’re the guinea pig with the spec engine,” MacDonald chuckles. “We’re going to test the K&N engine in the truck to see if it works well. We’ll be down on horsepower and NASCAR is putting a weight penalty on us so we don’t have high expectations, but if we like racing the truck we’ll get a real engine and do some more racing with it next year.”
Jumping back and forth between a NASCAR truck, a K&N car, and an ACT Late Model with a limited group of team members -- almost all of which are volunteer workers -- might be a daunting task for some. MacDonald, though, is confident in his team.
“It’ll be a lot of hard work, but we’re going to try to find a way to have a good weekend,” he said. “We think we’ve really got a shot at winning two of the three races, but getting worked up and stressing out isn’t going to do anyone any good.
“It doesn’t matter either way -- I’m going to race as hard as I can in all three races, and if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out.”
1. Eddie MacDonald feels he has a chance to win two of his three starts at New Hampshire Motor Speedway this weekend. (Leif Tillotson photo)
2. MacDonald (#71) in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East car. (Chris Roy photo)
3. MacDonald celebrates his ACT Invitational win in 2009. (Leif Tillotson photo)