Friday, Sept. 17th

Saturday, Sept. 18th

Saturday, Sept. 18th

Eddie MacDonald and the Grimm Racing Team competed in three of the five feature races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and their effort was rewarded with a sixth place finish in the K&N Pro Series East and a fifth place run in the ACT Invitational. The “experiment” in running a “spec” engine in the Camping World Truck Series ended with a wrecked truck and scored in 30th place.
The K&N Pro Series East race kicked off a busy weekend for the team with MacDonald posting the fifth fastest speed in the practice and followed it up with a fourth place run in qualifying. The Rowley, Mass driver maintained the position early in the race then slipped back to ninth on lap 45 as the car became tight. MacDonald restarted in second place on lap 51 after the leaders pitted and held on to the spot until the caution on lap 74.
 MacDonald restarted in 22nd on lap 79 after pitting for tires and fuel then began making his way to the front. On lap 85 the Grimm Construction Chevy was tenth and with 15 laps to go, MacDonald was in sixth place then moved to fourth when the two leaders took themselves out forcing the first green/white/checker. MacDonald was in third when another crash caused a second G/W/C attempt when the #9 car did not go on the first restart from his second spot on the grid sending cars all over the track at the start finish line. Officials then decided that the #71 car did not maintain speed even though MacDonald slowed to avoid slamming into Swindell’s car that was facing the wrong way on the track and placed him in the tenth position for the final restart. MacDonald was able to gain four positions over the last two laps.
 The finish pushed him into fifth place in the points with MacDonald saying, “It is great that we moved back into the top five despite the tough day. The car was tight the entire race and to have that call at the end really hurt but we’ll take the finish and get ready for Dover next week. We want to finish up strong there and it is one of our favorite places to race.”
 MacDonald and the crew prepared for their first Camping World Truck Series race in what was considered an experiment. No one ever ran a “spec” engine in a truck race so there was a lot of interest throughout the NASCAR community. MacDonald hoped to run in the top 20 saying, “The engine is one of our East engines and is a lot less horsepower than the teams running the trucks and because it is lighter NASCAR added a 100 pounds of weight to our truck so it will be tough but we’ll see how it goes.”
 MacDonald qualified 22nd and when the green flag waved it was evident the added weight and less horsepower would play a major role in the race with MacDonald saying, “We just couldn’t keep up with those guys on the restarts. They had way more power than us. It took us a while to get going and the truck was really tight like the East car so we were just hoping to maintain our position which we did until we got taken out on lap 84 in turn one by David Starr. That was the hardest I ever hit the wall and the official said afterward it registered 39 g’s. The truck is pretty torn up and if we got out of here without too much damage we were going to run at Martinsville but now I don’t know if we will be able to get it fixed. It was a tough day but it was fun to race with those guys.”
 MacDonald won the first ACT Invitational at NHMS last September and hoped to repeat but it was not to be. Teams were placed on the starting grid according to their performance ability and the Bank North 250 champion was slated to start 23rd but a penalty was levied forcing MacDonald to start 33rd. After passing inspection both driver and crew chief Rollie LaChance headed to the truck garage to prepare for that race. The remaining crew jacked up the left side of the Late Model to attach the transponder. It was at that time ACT officials measured the height of the right side and determined it to be too low forcing the team to cut a quarter of a inch off the bottom side panel and leveling the penalty.
 MacDonald said of the penalty, “I told them that when you jack up one side of the car you just can’t measure it then. The car has to be re-set and then you can measure it. We went through inspection once and it was okay. After the race we measured it and it was an inch and a half higher than what is mandatory. Starting back where we did was tough because we had to pass so many cars that were running side by side and the car was tight just like the East car and truck.”
 Despite the penalty, MacDonald drove the NEMO Pontiac from 33rd to sixth at the halfway mark of the sixty lap feature and into fourth with nine laps remaining, Brian Hoar took the fourth position with six laps remaining giving MacDonald the fifth place finish.
 “It was a great weekend of racing for us and the crew did an incredible job getting three vehicles ready,” said MacDonald after the race. “It was amazing because we were really spread so thin. Everyone worked their tails off and I really want to thank them for all the hard work. A number of other people stepped in to help and we really appreciate it. We have great support and we could not have done any of this without them.”
ACT Tour Race Report HERE
 ACT Speed51 Trackside Live HERE

Photos by
Norm Marx


Photos by
Norm Marx

EDDIE 4TH in K&N QUALIFYING with a 30.578 for 124.560 mph
NASCAR Home Tracks
K&N Qualifying Story HERE

Eddie MacDonald and the Grimm Racing Team will have their hands full this weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway as they will participate in three of the scheduled five events at “The Magic Mile.” MacDonald will take the green flag in the K&N Pro Series East” New Hampshire 125 on Friday, then compete in the Camping World Truck Series and the American-Canadian Tour Invitational races scheduled for Saturday.

The team has been preparing for the weekend for some time and MacDonald realizes the pressure saying, “This is something we have planned on since the beginning of the season but we have been out straight preparing both cars and the truck. I can honestly say that all the preparation is worth it because we feel really good about our chances, at least in the East and ACT races. We decided to race our truck, we bought two Roush trucks earlier this year, and it’s really an experiment, so our goal is to qualify for the race and hope for a good finish. We are definitely excited to be in three events. We will be dragging afterward but it should be a lot of fun.”

The experiment MacDonald spoke of will be in running a “spec” engine for the first time in the Camping World Truck Series. Running a “spec” engine has been talked about for a while and has been tested at some tracks but no team has decided to use one in a race. Questions about horsepower have generally kept its use on the back burner. NASCAR claims the engine produces only 20 less horsepower than the conventional power plants but independent tests claim the difference to be between 80 and 100. The engines are lighter in weight but NASCAR has decided that anyone running the “spec” engine will have to add 100 pounds to the car in order to level the playing field. Probably the reason the spec engine has not been used is the horsepower disadvantage and the added weight to the car. The experiment will begin with qualifying for the New Hampshire 175 on Saturday at 10:05 a.m. followed by the race at 3:00 p.m.

With three wins in the last five races in the K&N Pre Series East races at NHMS, MacDonald knows what it takes to get to victory lane saying, “We have had great success there in the past and we definitely learned a what not to do after our June race. We made some changes that we thought would help the car but they went the other way. The car is always fast there so we are just going to go with what got us there before. Of course we would like to win there again since all our fans are from the area and will be there, so every win there is special. After our run at Gresham we need to get back on track and there is nothing like being at home to do that.”

After the Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, MacDonald will climb into the #17 Late Model to defend his title in the ACT Invitational. Last year was the inaugural race for the ACT Tour and it was so successful both NHMS and ACT officials decided to stage the event again. MacDonald has won races running the ACT Tour this season when his schedule permitted and won the prestigious TD Bank 250 at Oxford Plains earlier this year. MacDonald is the early favorite to repeat as champion at NHMS but is quick to point out, “It would be awesome to win it again and that is what we are going there to do but there are a lot of strong cars entered this year with a year of racing at NHMS under their belts so I expect a tough race.”

MacDonald and crew chief Rollie LaChance were not pleased with the car during the test session held in August at Loudon with MacDonald saying, “It just didn’t go as we expected it to go. It just wasn’t fast as it usually is so we made some changes since then and we just tested at Lee and it was fast. It handled great so it is where we want it to be.”

LaChance was pleased with the car saying of the chance to repeat, “I am now. The car was great. I am really happy with it and I am looking forward to racing it at Loudon. Hopefully we can win another one.” On the truck test LaChance said,” It was okay until we developed a leak in the master cylinder, which I didn’t need with everything going on but better to find it here that at Loudon. We pretty much got rained out at Oxford Plains testing this week so it was good to get out on the track. I think we will be alright.”

Practice for the K&N Pro Series East race begins at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday with qualifying at 3:15 p.m. The New Hampshire 125 will take the green flag at 5:00 p.m. on Friday following the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying for Sunday’s Sylvania 300. The Grimm Race Team will have only a few hours of rest until the 8:00 a.m. start of ACT practice on Saturday morning.

“I hope we get a lot of people to come out to support us in all three races, said MacDonald. “Hopefully we can post two wins and a top twenty finish. That’s the goal. We are really looking forward to the weekend.”
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