Thompson Int'lSpeedway
Thompson, CT -
.625 Mile
Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100
July 11th, 2009

Eddie MacDonald wheeled the Grimm Construction Chevy to a fourth place finish in the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100 at Thompson International Speedway on Saturday night. The Rowley, Mass. racer was able to maintain his hold onto second place in the Camping World Series East championship race, only nine points behind the leader, with four races remaining on the schedule. Rob Grimm sits in third place in owner’s points.

MacDonald qualified fifth (20.483 sec.-109.847mph) on the fast, high-banked 5/8th of a mile oval after posting first and fifth fastest times in the two practice sessions. “We accomplished what we wanted to do and that was to qualify up near the front. We would have liked to get a couple of more spots but we are up there with a lot of good cars so now it is up to me to get a good start and hopefully have a good run. This is a short race so getting a good start is everything,” said MacDonald.

The NEMO-New England Mechanical Overlay Chevy wasted little time moving to third after the green flag waved in the same car that won the same event in 2005. MacDonald challenged the #18 for second place making the pass on a lap 18 restart. Another caution on lap 30 set the stage for what appeared to be the opportunity for MacDonald to take the lead. When the green flag was shown, the #71 vaulted by the leader Steve Park in turn two for a thrilling but brief lead then almost collected the turn four wall with MacDonald saying, “I was going in kind of high anyway but then I hit some oil that was there from the caution before and it turned me sideways. We stayed out of the wall but lost a few positions. It took a while for the car to get going again. The car was great and getting the lead was super but then that had to happen. It really stinks because we had such a great car and that was our chance to put us in a position to win this thing.”

Running in third for most of the remainder of the race, MacDonald watched the #35 and the #00 battle for the lead waiting for a chance to take the top spot saying, “Those guys were really running hard and I was ready to go if they got into it and took each other out but both did a good job.”

Truex finally made the pass on Park and opened up a big lead with MacDonald working on the #35 to get by for second but handling became an issue with MacDonald saying, “The car wouldn’t turn in the middle of the corners so I could get to his bumper but I couldn’t get under him enough to make the pass. I thought I might have a shot at him on the restart (lap 96) when I was on the inside behind the #00 but Truex didn’t go on the green. When he finally did I couldn’t go with him. By that time the #18 was up alongside Truex and I ended up stuck behind him.”

“Obviously we would have liked to get a couple of more positions but fourth is a decent finish and we are in second in the point race so these last four races are very important. Truex is running strong but we have had good finishes at the remaining tracks so I am confident we will be there at the end to challenge for the championship.”

The Camping World Series East will next tackle the half-mile oval at Adirondack International Speedway in The Edge Hotel 150 on August 1.

- Holds 2nd in Points as Truex Takes the Lead

NASCAR.COM RACE REPORT: THOMPSON, Conn. – Ryan Truex captured the checkered flag in a NASCAR Camping World Series East race for the second time in the last three outings as he took the Pepsi Full Fender Frenzy 100 Saturday night at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

Truex (No. 00 NAPA Toyota) battled Steve Park (No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet) through the last half of the race as the pair swapped the lead three times, but it was the 17-year-old Michael Waltrip Racing development driver who got past the veteran on Lap 96 and rode to the victory.

It was the second win in the last three outings for Truex, who earned his first series victory at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International on June 6. The Mayetta, N.J., native also joined his older brother, Martin Truex Jr., as NASCAR Camping World Series East winners at Thompson.

Park’s runner-up finish was the best of his 2009 season so far. He led a race-high 76 laps after earning the Coors Light Pole Award earlier in the day.

Matt DiBenedetto (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Driven Toyota) finished third to record his fourth top-five in five starts this year. Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 NEMO/Grimm Construction) and Alan Tardiff (No. 38 Bestway Disposal Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.

The rest of the top 10 finishers included Matt Kobyluck, Jesus Hernandez, Ryan Duff, Jonathan Smith and Brett Moffitt.

With the win, Truex has registered three-straight top-three finishes, which vaulted him past Jody Lavender and MacDonald into the points lead with four races remaining on the 2009 schedule. Lavender, the points leader entering the day, finished 11th.

When the green flag waves over Thompson International Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Series East’s Full Fender Frenzy on Saturday, July 11th, Eddie MacDonald will be ready to challenge for the win. The famed speedway has been a favorite track for the Rowley, Mass. driver, posting the 2005 season ending victory to accompany a number of solid runs during his career.

MacDonald feels confident the Grimm Construction Chevy will be strong in the 100-lap event saying, “We are bringing the car that we won with at Thompson in 2005. Rollie and the crew have really worked hard to prepare the car starting even before Loudon. With everything in place now that we are in our full second year with Rob Grimm, we can focus on getting the car ready for the next race and not have to worry about fixing it to get to the next track. That has really been a big help for our program.”

The race for the championship is well within the grasp of the team with five races remaining on the schedule on tracks that have been good for MacDonald. “We are only 18 points behind Lavender for the lead so this is an important race for us. If we can qualify up front and stay up front, we should be competing for the win at the end. Our goal at the beginning of the season was to contend for the championship and I feel we can put ourselves in a position to do that with a strong run. I really love running at Thompson. It is like two drag strips with high-banked turns and is very fast. The spec engine we run now gives us enough horsepower to get off the turns and crank it up down the long straights. This race should be a lot of fun.”

MacDonald has qualified well in the past, starting third in last year’s Full Fender Frenzy but early handling issues and a late-race flat tire produced a 15th place finish. MacDonald expects much better results this time around saying, “Last year we brought the Loudon car and I’m not sure if the longer wheel base was responsible for our handling issues but we know what this car can do. We know we are capable of running up front and Rollie knows how to set-up the car so it will be there at the end. I just have to take car of the tires and we should be good.”

Rob Grimm’s first race with the team was the 2007 event at Thompson that nearly ended with a top five finish. “We were running sixth with four laps to go and I had the car to get a couple of more positions but unfortunately we got spun out coming out of turn four. But Rob liked what he saw in the team and things have only gotten better since that race. I would really like to win this for Rob, as well as NEMO New England Mechanical Overlay that has been with us for years.”

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