Iowa Speedway
Newton, IA - .875 mile
Sunday, May 17th

After overcoming early mechanical problems, Eddie MacDonald battled back to make a run but met with more bad luck in the Camping World East/West combination race at Iowa Speedway. The Long John Silvers’ 200 drew the top drivers from the East and West series plus eventual winner Kyle Busch.

During Saturday’s practice, the crew spotted an oil leak near the oil pan. Despite efforts to fix it, the crew was forced to change the powerplant after the Sunday morning practice. A broken bolt proved to be the culprit and according to crew chief Rollie LaChance it was not easy to spot saying, “As soon as we took the engine out I could see where it was leaking. With the oil lines in front of it, it was impossible to find with the engine in the car.”

The Grimm Racing Chevy had to start tail in the 37-car field due to the engine change but missed the opportunity to at least shake down the engine for the two-lap qualifying by one minute. The #71, sponsored by NEMO New England Mechanical Overlay, were forced to start the race without a single lap on the engine. A true testament to Rollie and the crew, the car and engine performed flawlessly.

Ten laps into the feature, MacDonald had already moved up ten positions and continued the march to the front with him saying after the race, “The car was just perfect, I could drive it anywhere but it was really fast on the outside. I could pass a lot of cars out there because it had a lot of grip and power coming off the corners. It was great getting into the turns. It was fun to drive.”

By lap 30 MacDonald was in 17th and after a lap 38-caution, the Rowley, Mass. veteran had the car in the 11th spot. On the 70th circuit, the car rode in ninth and was moving to the front when two cars in front wrecked on lap 72 collecting MacDonald in the process.

“I was happy the way it was going. The car was running really well but two cars got into it in front of me and slid down the track. I went high to miss them but somebody drilled me in the back sending me into the wall hard.” The right front fender was completely destroyed and after multiple trips to the pits, the car returned to the race in the 19th position and on the lead lap.

A caution on lap 117 allowed MacDonald to pit for right side tires and fuel. At that time the car was pushing very bad and a bent section in the front end was discovered after the race. Despite the problems, Eddie Mac drove to 14th by lap 136. As the laps continued to wind down the car became very tight. A new set of left side tires were put on during a lap 177-caution making it a lot better to maintain the 18th position to the checkered flag.

After the race LaChance knew what could have been had it not been for the wreck saying, “ We had such a fast race car it could have easily finished in the top five. When Eddie stayed up in the outside groove the car was like a rocket.”

MacDonald was quick to add, “I can’t thank Rollie and the crew for all the hard work they did yesterday and today. The car was fast and I think we had something for them today but, unfortunately, we didn’t get the chance. We’ll now focus on our next race in two weeks at South Boston. I also want to thank our sponsor NEMO New England Mechanical Overlay and car owner Rob Grimm for making this all possible.”

MacDonald Comeback Driver of the Weekend … After an engine change that left the No. 71 team without an opportunity to participate in qualifying, MacDonald had to start the 200-lap race at the rear of the field, 37th. The Rowley, Mass., driver worked his way through the field consistently and wound up with the Coca-Cola Move of the Race Award after he finished 13 spots better than his starting position among NASCAR Camping World Series East drivers.

EDDIE is 2nd in the POINTS after IOWA with three of 11 races completed.

Pos- Driver -  Points - Starts - Top 5 - Top 10

1 Jody Lavender - 465 - 3 - 2 - 2
2 Eddie MacDonald - 439 - 3 - 1- 2
3 Matt Kobyluck - 427 - 3 - 0 - 3
4 Brett Moffitt * - 409 - 3 - 2 - 2
5 Alan Tardiff * 408 - 3 - 1 - 2

The Grimm Racing Team is determined to have a strong finish in the NASCAR Camping World East/West Challenge at Iowa Speedway on Sunday, May17th. Eddie MacDonald is confident the team will be much better prepared this year to post a top five finish in the Long John Silver’s 200 presented by A&W Restaurants.

“ Last year we went there with a new car and never really got the set-up right but we were still able to stay in contention until we were involved in the wreck. The track was new to us last year and we learned a lot, so this year we really feel confident in setting the car up to be there at the end.”

The team is pleased to announce that NEMO, New England Mechanical Overlay from Pembroke, New Hampshire, will be the primary sponsor for the race. MacDonald said, “I am so happy that NEMO is back with us this year. They have been a huge help to us in the past and it will be great to have them on the hood of the car. We can’t thank Ron and Becky Bennett enough for all they have done for this team.”

The race is the first this season pitting the best teams and drivers in the East and West on the fast, high-banked seven-eighths of a mile oval. MacDonald knows the significance of posting a good finish saying, “The track is just fun to drive and is really a drivers track. It is very fast and with the high banking in the turns you have to focus all the time. With the West drivers there, the race should be real exciting since everyone wants to do well to prove we are the best.”

The event is scheduled for 200 laps and that will certainly provide some added excitement with MacDonald saying, “Racing 200 laps will be nice because everyone will have to pit for tires and fuel so that will probably play a big part in the finish. It will be interesting to see how the pit strategy plays out.”

MacDonald is currently fifth in the points after two races, posting a third place finish in the season opener at Greenville-Pickens and a disappointing twelfth at Tri-County. Due to the abbreviated schedule this season, every race is important in the quest for the championship. MacDonald feels a solid run in Iowa is essential saying, “Our goal each race is to finish in the top five and if we do that consistently, we put ourselves in contention to win a race. Iowa will be a true test with the caliber of the competition that will be there. I feel very confident that the NEMO Chevy will have a strong run.”

The Speed Channel will televise the race on May 28 at 3 p.m.

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