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The New England 125

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Loudon, NH
Fri. July, 15th - 5:15 PM
PENALTY COSTLY FOR MACDONALD
at NEW HAMPSHIRE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Eddie MacDonald and the Grimm Racing team rebounded from a blown motor in practice on Thursday for the K&N Pro Series East New England 125 at NHMS but could not overcome a late race penalty to finish in ninth place on Friday.

The NEMO-New England Mechanical Overlay Chevy ran in the fourth position when a lap 78 caution gave MacDonald the opportunity to pit for four new tires and return to the track as the last car on the lead lap. When the green flag waved, MacDonald was penalized for an improper line-up forcing a drive-through penalty. The Grimm Construction Chevy returned to the track in the 28th position one lap down. The #71 quickly passed the leader Brett Moffitt to get the lap back and began a charge to the front but ran out of laps.

A series of errors appear to have contributed to the penalty. The new scoreboard did not post the running order, the computer generated listing of positions was not working, and notice of position was not received by the team. Consequently MacDonald was penalized for passing four cars on the back stretch before the green flag was shown.

“We knew we had to start at the tail of the longest line but we did not get any information so I just started next to the #85,” said a very confused MacDonald after the race. “After changing the motor and fighting our way to the front then have the penalty called on us was really disappointing. I thought we were in the right spot so it was a real surprise when it happened.”

“The thing that was so frustrating was that I had no tools to tell Eddie where to start,” said crew chief Rollie LaChance. “Without the scoreboard and with the computer down, we did not know where to go. It was unfortunate because we definitely had a top five car and who knows what could have happened at the end.”

The weekend started on a sour note when a rod blew through the block halfway through the first practice while MacDonald was running twelfth. A decision was made not to attempt to replace the motor in time for qualifying but to focus of getting everything right for the race on Friday. The move proved to be the right one as MacDonald fought his way from his provisional 33rd place start on the grid and into fourth before the ill-fated penalty.

MacDonald was running 16th then pitted for fuel and fender repair on a lap 46 caution with the veteran racer saying, “The car was really good and we were in a good position running fifth and hoping to get another caution around lap 75 so we could take on the new tires. We got exactly what we wanted with the caution on lap 78 were ready to contend for the win. I know we had a top five car at least and it would have been fun to see what we could have done at the end but it was not to be. I don’t know if we could have challenged for the win but I think we could have had a shot. This team worked so hard to get us ready and I am really thankful for all the effort. It was a tough finish but what can you say other than we will get them next time.”

Even after the disappointing finish LaChance said, “I was really happy with the car. We did not get any laps on it but it ran great. I know we had something for them at the end. The crew worked great getting the new motor in and setting the car up to run so well.”

MacDonald did receive the “COCA COLA Move of the Race Award” for passing the most cars from his starting position. With the ninth place finish, the team moved up one spot to eighth in the points race.

The team will race next in the inaugural Jegs 150 at Columbus (Ohio) Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 23. The NHMS race can be seen on Speed on August 4 at 6 PM.
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LIVE: K&N East At NHMS - HERE
For the Event Schedule, Entry List, Practices, Qualifying, Lap by Lap, and Results
 
Photos by Chris Roy
 
Photos by Richard Casey

News & Notes: East Heads To Loudon, NH - HERE

New England 125 Up Next After Month Break

25 For 25
The 2011 season is the 25th in series history. From its days as the Busch North Series, to the present-day NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, there are countless moments that have come to define the series. Each week we will take a look back at those moments and figures that have defined the series.

New England’s Home Track: The New England 125 will be the 55th running of the K&N Pro Series East at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Although the K&N Pro Series East was in its fourth year before it went to Loudon for the first time, NHMS has become the home track of the series through the years. The 54 previous events since 1990 are 20 more than any other track has played host to.

The first NASCAR event at NHMS was the Budweiser 300 on July 15, 1990, a NASCAR Nationwide Series race that included 10 K&N Pro Series East drivers that ran in combination. There were a total of nine combination races at NHMS from 1990-95. The highlight of those nine events came in 1991 when Ricky Craven took the checkered flag as a representative of the K&N Pro Series East.

The inaugural K&N Pro Series East stand-alone race, the Peak Antifreeze 125, took place on Sept. 2, 1990 and was won by Mike McLaughlin. McLaughlin, who also won the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race that same day, went on to earn three more East wins at the ‘Magic Mile.’ Since McLaughlin’s historic first triumph, 22 other drivers have found Victory Lane on the series’ biggest stage through the years.

Brad Leighton proved to be the master of the ‘Magic Mile’ during his decorated career. From Center Harbor, N.H., Leighton took the checkered flag at his home track eight times. The winningest driver in K&N Pro Series history, Kelly Moore was also no stranger to success at NHMS with five triumphs. And the track’s winningest driver across all series, Ted Christopher nabbed five of his 10 total East career wins there.

Loudon attracts a crowd:  A season-high 43 entries – the most at NHMS since June, 2007 – have been received for the New England 125, including a number of drivers that hope to make their first start of 2011. Jeff Anton, Keith Flach, Joey Polewarczyk and Jonathan Smith will make their first appearance of the year. Late Model drivers Jimmy Weller and Corey Williams will attempt to make their K&N Pro Series East debut along with Spencer Gallagher, who has made for K&N Pro Series West appearances this year. One of the biggest events of the year, the New England 125 has also attracted the prominent part-time drivers like Travis Pastrana and Andrew Ranger.

Statistical Advance: New England 125 - HERE
The 55th running of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at New Hampshire Motor Speedway is set for Friday, July 15 in Loudon, NH.
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Chevrolet)
•  Has six wins, two poles and 58 top 10s in 139 career NKNPS East starts.
•  Is ninth in the standings with a pair of top 10s.
•  Has three wins, nine top 10s and an average finish of 18th in 21 career starts at NHMS.
•  The longest-tenured driver on the pre-entry list. This is his 11th year in the series.
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