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Saturday, March 16th
 4:45 PM ET

Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol, TN
 
Eddie Rallies to Top Ten Finish at Bristol
Receives Coke Cola "Move of the Race" Award
Eddie MacDonald opened the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season with an impressive drive from the back of the field to post a seventh place finish in the Drive4COPD 125 on the famed “World’s Fastest Half Mile.” The race had special meaning for the team as it displayed the “Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week” logo in support of Megan Spaulding, the daughter of team owners Karla and Rob Grimm, who was recently diagnosed with the disease.

After a disappointing qualifying run on Thursday, the Grimm Construction Toyota started 30th in the 36 car field on Saturday with Eddie Mac saying, “We really expected to post a good qualifying lap but it just didn’t happen. The car was fast in practice so we knew we would be okay in the race. It is a brand new Gibb’s car and it was the first time we ever had it on a track. Rollie and I decided to ride along and take what we could get without wrecking or using up the tires and then make adjustments at the break around lap 70. Everyone knows Bristol is a tough, unforgiving track, so patience is a necessity.”

When the green flag waved, MacDonald wasted little time picking off cars. By the first of seven cautions on lap 6, Eddie Mac rode in the 23rd position. At the third caution on lap 29, the veteran driver from Rowley, Mass. rode comfortably in the 15th spot saying, “The car was pretty good. It was just a little free everywhere but I was riding easy and really not pushing it at all. We were good on the bottom of the track and I was able to pick up a lot of positions especially on the restarts.”

When the yellow waved for the mandatory five minute break on lap 70, Eddie Mac was 11th. After a track bar and wedge adjustments the #71 headed back to the track for the final stretch. No team was allowed to change tires for the race unless for a flat time, so MacDonald knew tire management was essential for a good finish saying, “I knew that we would all be sliding around by the end of the race on the same tires but the car was handling pretty good. We decided to tighten it up just a bit but we may have gone a little too far. It started to get tight the closer we got to the finish. We were really good with the sun on the track but then it clouded over and that affected the handling.”

Despite the car tightening up, the Grimm MS Awareness Toyota moved steadily to the front and restarted on lap 102 after the sixth caution flag in the eighth spot. The final yellow flag on lap 107 reset the field for the lap 110 restart. With five laps to go, the #71 was eighth and gained one more position on the final lap to finish seventh.

“I really wanted to finish fifth but the car was just too tight at the end,” said MacDonald. “I am happy with the run and it was a lot of fun racing at Bristol. We had a bad crash here last year and destroyed our car so it was great to finish where we did and bring the car home in one piece. Rollie, the crew and I are pleased to have a good run for the Grimm family. They are having a tough time right now so it means a lot to have a solid run for them and help to raise awareness for MS.”

Crew chief Rollie LaChance was equally satisfied with the finish saying, “I am really happy to come home in seventh place. We started in the back and passed a lot of cars. It is always fun when you get the car going forward and run well.”

“I also want to thank the crew for all the hard work,” said MacDonald. “We had three UNOH students, Kody, Thomas, and Brett on our team and they did a great job for us. We have had UNOH students as part of our crew the past couple of seasons and they are always well prepared and professional.”

The team has a quick turnaround with the second race of the K&N season scheduled for Greenville Pickens Speedway (S.C.) on Saturday, March 23. The Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 125 will be presented by G-Clean.
Photos by
Richard Casey
Eddie Races at Bristol for MS Awareness
When the green flags waves to open the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16, Eddie MacDonald and the entire Grimm Racing team will have added meaning for the event. The #71 will proudly display the National Multiple Sclerosis Society logo on the rear quarter panels in support of MS Awareness Week running March 11-17 during the Bristol 125 on “The World’s Fastest Half Mile.” This disease recently hit close to home in the Grimm Racing family when Megan Spaulding, the daughter of team owners Karla and Rob Grimm, was diagnosed with MS.

“Rob and Karla have been so supportive of our racing efforts, it’s time for our entire race team and fans to support them and Megan at this time," said the veteran driver. “We have been working very hard to prepare our new car for Bristol to run well and set the tone for the season. Now we are more determined to have a great finish for Megan and raise awareness for MS. Like many people, we knew of the disease but knew little about it. Now that it has affected a member of our family, we will do whatever we can to help.”

The cars will also display the MS logo on the pillar posts for the entire season with the crew wearing patches, pins, and bracelets during each race to show their support. In addition to team involvement during race days, Megan, family members, and members of Grimm Nation plan to participate as a team called “MS Warriors” in the MS Walk at Pocono Raceway on Sunday May 5. This is the third consecutive year the raceway will host the event that is open to everyone to walk the three mile course around the track.

“Even though we compete against each other on the track, NASCAR race teams and fans always step up to help others in need,” said Eddie Mac. “Now we ask everyone’s help to raise awareness and funds to continue the research to find a cure for this disease.”

Anyone who wishes to donate to MS research in Megan’s name may stop by the #71 hauler at Bristol or throughout the season.

Donations may also be made in Megan’s name and mailed to Jolene Drandson, 43 Elizabeth Road, Sandown, N.H. 03873.
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HOMETRACKS LIVE: K&N East Season Opens at Bristol - HERE
For the Event Schedule, Entry List, Practices, Qualifying, Lap by Lap, & Results
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Photos by Richard Casey
 
News & Notes: K&N East at Bristol - HERE
NASCAR’s Next Generation To Tackle “World’s Fastest Half Mile”

FAST FACTS
The Race: 
The DRIVE4COPD 125 will mark the opening of the 15-race 2013 regular season schedule for the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.

The Procedure:  The maximum starting field will be 36 cars, including provisionals. The first 32 starting positions will be based on two-lap time trials and the remaining four will be filled through the provisional process. The race will be 125 laps (66.625 miles) with a five minute break at or near the conclusion of Lap 70.

The Track:  Known as the “World’s Fastest Half Mile,” Bristol is a .533-mile concrete oval with banking between six and 10 degrees on the straightaways and 24-28 degrees in the turns.

Race Winners:  Nelson Piquet Jr. won the inaugural NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol in 2012 in his series debut. Piquet led 63 laps en route to the checkered flag.

Pole Winners:  As the pole winner of the inaugural series event at Bristol, Piquet established the track qualifying record at 118.811 mph (16.150 seconds).

New Faces at Bristol:
  Of the 43 drivers on the pre-entry list for the DRIVE4COPD 125, 15 will attempt to make their official NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut. There are a total of 26 Bristol entries that will be eligible for Sunoco Rookie of the Race and Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors as they’ve had seven or less starts in the series prior to 2013.


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Photos by
Richard Casey

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