Thurs. April 25 - 7 PM ET

Richmond International Raceway
Richmond, VA
Sensational Comeback for Eddie at Richmond
Thirty six NASCAR K&N Pro Series East cars took the green flag in the Blue Ox 100 at Richmond International Raceway on Thursday with Eddie MacDonald in the unenviable 33rd starting position. When the checkered flag waved at the end of the 100 lap (75 miles) race the Grimm Construction Chevy scored an impressive fourth place finish.

“We needed that finish after the last couple of races,” said a very pleased driver. “We had a terrible qualifying attempt. The front of the car was hitting the track and it was smoking quite a bit. We had to start the race that way since the cars are impounded after qualifying.”

MacDonald’s time was only 33rd fastest and had to take a provisional spot to make the field with hopes the car would run well enough until the team could make adjustments during the first caution. Their wish came to be with the leader only 20 car length’s behind the #71 as the first caution flag waved on lap 46. Two critical moves were made in the pits that propelled MacDonald through the field for the remaining laps.

“The car was hitting the track and washing up the nose in the turns and that killed any speed we had,” said MacDonald. “Rollie (LaChance) asked permission from the NASCAR official to raise the hood to put in one round of wedge on each side and the request was granted. We knew that would lift the car enough to stop dragging on the surface and it worked perfectly. I could drive the car in the corners and had plenty of speed off the turns.”

The second critical move involved the hood pins. Richmond is only .75 of a mile so the pace car speed around the oval does not allow much time for under the hood adjustments. With the pace car leading the field out of turn four LaChance instructed the crew to replace only two hood pins knowing the official would order the #71 back to pit road to replace the rest of the pins. However, the move allowed MacDonald to get back on the track just ahead of the pace car and not go a lap down.

MacDonald was 23rd on the lap 53 restart and in 11th place after the lap 80 caution saying, “The adjustments definitely helped. It is tough to get around cars here but the car kept getting better the longer we ran. We decided to stay out during the caution and not tweak it anymore and that made all the difference. After the final caution, I was able to pass a number of cars to get to fourth. Rollie made a great call on the pit stop and the crew did a super job making the adjustments and getting me out before the pace car. If we went down a lap there it would have been a completely different outcome.”

A multi-car wreck on lap 88 brought out the red flag with the veteran driver saying,” I think it was the #07 just got me in the left rear but not enough to spin me. We definitely lucked out because a lot of cars behind me were right in the middle of it. You need a little luck and tonight we had it on our side. I knew the last five laps would be tough but we had the car for it.”

The green flag waved with only four laps to go with MacDonald in seventh place. The #71 quickly passed two cars on the restart and with only two laps to go passed the #11 car after a door to door battle to take the fourth spot and secure the team’s best finish this season. The run vaulted Eddie Mac back into fifth place in the point’s race.

.”Getting fourth place after the day we had is awesome” said Eddie Mac. “As I said, we really needed this. It is great for morale and I am pleased we did it with so many of the Grimm family and friends that made the trip down from Waymart, Pa. The support the team gets from “Grimm Nation” is fantastic. I know they are enjoying this as much as we are down here in the pits. Hopefully we can support them when we are part of the “MS Warriors” team in the May 5 National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Walk around Pocono Speedway.”

After a hectic few weeks, the team has a little time to catch its breath. The next K&N race will be on June 1 at the legendary Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston Salem, N.C. for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 150.
Photos by Richard Casey
HOMETRACKS LIVE: K&N East at Richmond - HERE
For the Event Schedule, Entry List, Practices, Qualifying, Lap by Lap, & Results
Statistical Advance: BLUE OX 100 - HERE

• Originally known as the Atlantic Rural Exposition Fairgrounds, Richmond International Raceway held its first race in 1946 as a half-mile dirt track.
• The track name changed to Virginia State Fairgrounds in 1967.
• The track surface was changed from dirt to asphalt between races in 1968.
• The track name changed to Richmond Fairgrounds Raceway in 1969.
• The track was re-measured to .542-mile in 1970.
• The track was rebuilt as a three-quarter-mile D-shaped oval following the Feb. 21, 1988 race.
Richmond International Raceway Data
Season Race #:  4 of 15 (4-25-13)
Track Size:  .75-miles
Banking/Turns 1 & 2:  14 degrees
Banking/Turns 3 & 4:  14 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch:  8 degrees
Banking/Backstretch:  2 degrees
Race Length:  100 laps / 75 miles
Eddie MacDonald (No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet)
• Has six wins, two poles and 77 top 10s in 161 career starts.
• Has finished in the top 10 in 19 of his last 22 starts dating back to the 2011 season.
• Has finishes of 14th and eighth in his two career starts at Richmond.
• This week will mark his 162nd career start, which will tie him with past series champions Brad Leighton and Andy Santerre for 10th on the all-time list.


It’s Virginia and Vermont for Eddie Mac This Week
After last week’s races in Florida and New Hampshire, Eddie MacDonald and the Grimm Racing Team will take the green flags this week on Thursday at Richmond International Raceway and on Sunday at Thunder Road in Barre, Vermont.

For the third year in a row, RIR will host NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East event in the Blue Ox 100 as part of the big Cup weekend at the banked .75 mile D-shaped track. When the checkered flag waves sometime Thursday night, the team will pack up for a return to the Newburyport, Mass. shop on Friday to get ready for a Saturday morning departure for the American Canadian Tour race at the historic “bullring” in the Green Mountain state.

“We had a busy week and we are doing it all again, but this is the fun part of racing,” said Eddie. “We are racing at two tracks that are a lot of fun and have a lot of history. It isn’t as hectic as last week but we really have been busy getting both cars ready, and hopefully we will have great runs.”

Both the #71 K&N and the #17 Late Model will carry the National Multiple Sclerosis logo. The Grimm Construction Chevy finished eighth in the Blue Ox 100 last year with Eddie saying, “Richmond is a great track and we had a strong run last year and hope to do even better this time. The track is very fast so the set up and the handling have to be there if you want to compete. The car was really good at the end of the race last year so we hope our set up this year will be getting us to the front.”

Eddie Mac finished third in last week’s ACT season opener Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway and will run Freddie Peterson’s car again this Sunday in the 15th annual Merchant’s Bank 150 at Thunder Road with Eddie saying, “It is always fun to drive there. You really have to have a good car under you to run on that track. It is tough to pass there and you are always turning left so handling is critical. It sounds like a great field of cars is entered and we are looking forward to running there. We have a day of practice Saturday to get the car the way it needs to be to be competitive. Rollie (LaChance) and I will have logged a lot of miles in the last couple of weeks so we hope all the travel and lack of sleep will pay off.”

NASCARHomeTracks.com will live stream practice (beginning at 12:00 noon), qualifying, and the Blue Ox 150 from Richmond on Thursday, April 26. Speed will televise a tape of the race on May 16 at 3:00 pm. Action gets under way at Thunder Road at noon with the ACT race scheduled for 4:30 pm.

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