PHOTO: Eddie MacDonald’s team works on the No. 17 Hancock Electric Pontiac prior to TD Bank 250 qualifying on Sunday. (Justin St. Louis/VMM photo)

OXFORD, Me. — Eddie MacDonald is chasing history at today’s TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway. The Rowley, Mass., driver will try for his third consecutive win in the marquee race, a feat only Ralph Nason has accomplished.

Nason, the Unity, Me., veteran pulled off the three-peat in 1998, 1999, and 2000 — and was leading late in the 2001 race when spun, eventually finishing third.

“It’s definitely a pretty cool target to be shooting for. It’s pretty neat have the opportunity to be able to try to beat him or at least meet his record,” MacDonald said.

He may have a long road ahead of him, though; MacDonald arrived to Oxford at 10:30 this morning after flying in from the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race in Columbus, Ohio last night. His late arrival meant limited track time, and his qualifying draw — he starts 11th in Heat 3 — might work against him.

“It’s definitely going to be tough, especially because we’re not the greatest today,” MacDonald said. “I think we got maybe 20 minutes of practice, so we’re off a little bit. Rollie [LaChance, crew chief] is in there changing everything on the car, so hopefully we’ll come out in the heat race and be fast.”

Not only that, MacDonald and LaChance are running on almost no sleep: “We got maybe like an hour at the hotel, and whatever I got on the plane,” he said.

MacDonald says that any pressure he feels on tying Nason’s ‘250’ record comes from within.

“It’s just another [race]. There’s so many things that have to happen to make [an Oxford 250 win] work,” he said. “We’re just going to try as hard as we can and not even think about it. Just work as hard as we can and see if we can get that thing fast.”

MacDonald’s season hasn’t been his typical front-running self in 2011; he has just four top-ten finishes in nine K&N Pro Series starts, and has struggled in his Late Model starts this year. The media attention he’s received this season is relatively low for a two-time defending winner of the biggest short track race in the region.

“I don’t pay attention to much of that stuff, I just pay attention to how I feel and how we’re doing,” MacDonald said. “This year it’s just been pretty frustrating. We’ve had a few good runs and only been able to get a few good finishes on it. We always seem to have something happen.”

Qualifying begins at 2:00pm.