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The Blue OX 100

Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Top Ten for Eddie MacDonald at Richmond
A solid eighth place finish for Eddie MacDonald in the K&N Pro Series East Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway successfully capped an earlier day of frustration for both driver and crew. With the run, the Grimm Construction Chevy gained five positions in the point’s race into ninth.

Rain postponed the scheduled practice time one hour, so the two scheduled practices were blended into one. After changing spark plugs at the start of practice, the car returned to the track and quickly discovered the car would just not turn in the corners on the banked three-quarters of a mile oval. After numerous adjustments the car was still not right with MacDonald saying, “The car was so tight in the center of the turn the nose would just push up the track so I couldn’t get back to the throttle. We made a lot of changes but nothing seemed to work. It was a pretty frustrating practice. Driving that track is nothing like Loudon or Dover so it was hard to get a handle on it. We knew we had to make changes for qualifying and they did help.”

The # 71 qualified 11th on the starting grid with MacDonald saying, “The car was better and I was able to hold it on the bottom but we knew it would still be a handful during the race.” When the green flag flew, the Rowley, Mass. veteran started on the inside and planned to stay there as long as possible. “I had to keep the car on the bottom yellow line of the track. If I moved up a little, the nose would push up. I just wanted to ride easy, save the tires and let the leaders use up their stuff.”

At the halfway flag, MacDonald rode in the 13th position saying, “If I got up off the bottom groove the car would not turn. It didn’t like the outside and I got pushed up and I lost a bunch of positions. I started backing up just before the turns so I could stay on the bottom. It seemed to be working and the car seemed to be getting better.”

In the 17th spot on lap 71, MacDonald made a terrific three wide pass underneath and began heading back towards the front. A red flag on lap 89 found MacDonald in the 12th position when the race resumed with only six laps to go in the scheduled 100 lap event. In two laps, Eddie Mac was in eighth. A caution flag on lap 99 forced a green white checker finish to extend the race two laps. MacDonald held the eighth spot to post his second top ten finish in three races with a fifth at Greenville being the other.

“We had a pretty good finish considering the way the car was earlier. It was crazy out there at the end and I knew the leaders would be banging on each other. I knew some guys ahead of me were loose so I knew I could get under them at the end. We missed the wrecks there at the end and the car came home in pretty good shape. We just have to get it ready now for Iowa instead of having to do a lot of body repairs to it. Everyone worked so hard today in the pits; I really have to thank them for everything they do.”

Crew chief Rollie LaChance was equally pleased with the outcome saying, “I am very happy with our finish. The car came around near the end so I was pleased with that. Eddie drove a smart race doing what he needed to do to get the finish we had. The crew worked hard today and I really have to give them credit. They are up against other teams that have a number of paid crew guys from the Cup, Nationwide, and Truck series. I don’t think they know how much they accomplish at times. It is hard for us but a day like today shows just how hard they work and how good they are.”

The Grimm Racing team will take the green flag next on May 19 at the Iowa Speedway in the first of two combination races with the K&N West Series. The team will race their American Canadian Tour Late Model at Devil’s Bowl in West Haven, Vermont on Sunday, May 6.
Photos by Richard Casey
LIVE COVERAGE ON SPEED: The Blue Ox 100 will be carried live on SPEED, which will mark the first time since the 2008 season that the K&N Pro Series East has had a points-paying race broadcast same-day. The exhibition Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown will also air live from Richmond following the Blue Ox 100. Starts at 7:00 PM EST.
HOMETRACKS LIVE: K&N East At RICHMOND - HERE
For the Event Schedule, Entry List, Practices, Qualifying, Lap by Lap, & Results
News & Notes: K&N East Returns to Action - HERE
Statistical Advance: Analyzing The Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway - HERE
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, two poles and 64 top 10s in 146 career starts.
• Finished 14th at Richmond in 2011.

Notebook
• The 2011 Blue Ox 100 was the first stand-alone race at Richmond in NASCAR K&N Pro Series East history.
• Teams from the NKNPS East competed in combination with the NASCAR Nationwide Series in five races at Richmond from 1988-92.

Richmond International Raceway Data
Race: #3 of 14 overall (4/26/12)
Track Layout: .75-mile, D-Shaped asphalt oval
• Race Length: 100 laps (75 miles)
• Banking/Corners: 14 degrees
• Banking/Frontstretch: eight degrees
• Banking/Backstretch: two degrees

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