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TD BANK 250
 
Oxford Plains Speedway
 Oxford, ME -
Sunday, July 18th
 Qualifying at 2 PM
 The 250 at approx. 6:30 PM
Eddie Has Won
 
his second Oxford 250!
TWO TD BANK 250’S IN A ROW FOR EDDIE MACDONALD
We have to get there first,” responded crew chief Rollie LaChance before practice even began on Saturday when asked if he and Eddie could make it two wins in a row at the Oxford Plains Speedway spectacular known as the TD Bank 250. Get there they did to etch their names into the record books as only one of four who have ever gone back to back. Only Geoff Bodine, Mike Rowe and Ralph Nason have been able to accomplish the feat and with three in a row for Nason so now the “Outlaw” has something to shoot for next year.

Eddie started ninth after finishing second in the third of six heats that saw 79 cars try to qualify for the 39 starting positions. The field was so strong that Cup regular Brad Keselowski had to receive a promoter’s provisional to even make the race while Jeffrey Earnhardt was not able to make the starting grid. Oxford Plains was at its best affording a lot of three wide racing in the heats and the feature. Only five cars finished on the lead lap but it was the lapped cars that played an important role in the outcome. There were still a strong field running near the end and it was difficult for the leaders to move through the pack of bunched up racecars.

Pole winner and ACT point’s leader Brian Hoar showed great speed in practice and qualifying but it was veteran racer Brad Leighton who took command early on lap 14 and maintained a solid lead for 189 laps until a right front tire exploded. Instead of going to the pits the cagey driver raced into turn one and spun through the dirt to bring out a caution flag allowing him to stay on the lead lap when the green flag waved again on lap 203. The move paid off at the end of the race with a hard charge back through the field to finish fifth and the last car on the lead lap. It was Leighton however that made short work of the competition from six on back as he put everyone a lap down before the halfway flag. The lapped cars made it difficult for the leaders to get through since many were racing two and sometimes three wide and were not about to make it easy for the leaders to pass.

A caution on lap 140 brought all the cars to the pits as Leighton and Hoar returned to the track in the first two positions. When Eddie returned after making adjustments and taking on four tires, the New England Mechanical Overlay/Grimm Construction Pontiac was behind the lapped cars of Patrick Laperle, Nick Sweet, and Don Wentworth as these three cars hounded the top three cars over the final 100 laps. Leighton, Hoar, and MacDonald had to contend with the slower lapped cars but the three mentioned above gave the leaders everything they could handle. At one point Eddie passed Hoar for second place but he was also passed by two of the lapped cars. It was very strange indeed.

Eddie and Hoar continued to swap second place position as Leighton had a comfortable lead but the man on the move was Oxford regular Corey Morgan. After getting a lap back on the lap 142-caution, Morgan just flew through the field and was running in third while gaining on the #17. Hoar’s gamble to take two tires on the lap 140 caution did not turn out as planned as he lost positions to Brent Dragon and Martin and was running fifth before making a charge at the end to finish second.

Leighton was in control and appeared ready for the huge win when he cut down a right front tire on lap 203 giving the lead to MacDonald who was pacing himself behind the leader and the lapped cars. Eddie said afterwards, “Brad was racing the lapped cars hard and I thought he might be using up his stuff so I just stayed back saving mine and unfortunately for him and good for us that is what happened. He definitely had the fastest car out there but we will take the win.”

For the final 47 laps Eddie was untouchable as he opened up a half track lead on his nearest competition saying, “The car was on a rail the last 50 laps. We were a little tight all day but as the fuel burned off the car became neutral and really came to me. It handled fantastic and I have to give credit to Rollie and the crew. They changed just about everything over the two days and that was real difficult in this heat. I can’t thank them enough for all the hard work. What can I say about Rollie other than he’s great. We have a lot of fun with this racecar and he just loves winning here at Oxford. We had already won two ACT races here this season so Rollie definitely knows what he is doing.”

Rollie said of the win, “I always wanted to win one of these ever since I have been a crew chief and we did that last year. This win is just a bonus and I am very happy to take it. I was real happy with the car even in the heat. We finished second in that and I knew Eddie had something for the heat winner, Dave Pembroke, if he wanted to push it. I knew we had a fast car for the 250. This is really a sweet win for us.”
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