The seventh running of the Toyota All-Star Showdown in Irwindale, California
did not start out as planned for the Grimm Construction Chevy. After
struggling through both practices and a disappointing qualifying run, the
team rebounded to finish a respectable eighth place. Eddie MacDonald,
driving in the newly sponsored K&N Pro Series, battled back from as far back
as 23rd position to post the satisfying finish.

“We really struggled in practice to get the right set-up and we never quite
got it,” said MacDonald after the race. “We tried four different set ups but
the car just did not get any better. It was frustrating for everyone but
Rollie and the crew kept working on it. With the cars impounded after
qualifying, we planned to go out for the first 100 lap segment, see what the
car needed, then make adjustments during the ten minute break.”

The first practice only produced a 31st fastest time and after more
adjustments, Eddie Mac was only able to improve four positions in the second
practice with a time of 19.314 seconds. In qualifying, the Rowley, Mass.
driver shaved off over six tenths of a second with a time of 18.711 sec. to
earn the 17th starting positions on the grid.

However, when the green flag waved, MacDonald slipped back into the 23rd
spot before the mandatory caution flag waved on lap 98 with Eddie Mac
saying, “The car was horrible. It just wouldn’t turn in the corners and it
was bouncing all over the place. It was too bad we couldn’t change front
shocks because that would have made all the difference. Instead we made a
number of small adjustments and the car was a lot better after the break. It
was still bouncing but not nearly as bad as it was before the break. Rollie
and the guys got the car much better in the turns and we were able to pass
some cars. Now we were going forward instead of going backwards.”

After the lap 103 restart, MacDonald gained ten positions by the time the
caution flag flew on lap 128. Three more of the fourteen total caution flags
did not allow enough continuous green flag laps to get the momentum going to
pass more cars. A red flag on lap 145 further cooled the chances for the #71
to mount a charge. By the second mandatory break on lap 201, MacDonald was
in eighth place and geared up for the final 25 laps.

“The way the car was handling by then I thought we could get a couple of
more spots but there weren’t enough green flag laps in the final 25 laps
because of the two cautions. We lost the momentum we had before the break.
The yellow flags killed any chance for us to move up. We expected a better
finish but after the start we had, finishing eighth isn’t too bad. We are
not thrilled but it was decent considering everything.”

“I have to thank team owner Rob Grimm, Rollie and the crew for all the hard
work. They just never give up. The trip requires a lot and we couldn’t do it
without the support of our sponsors who have helped us through the years. Of
course, Grimm Construction, Waymart Building Center, R.B. Fries, NEMO-New
England Mechanical Overlay, Racing with Jesus, Hanover Place, Hancock
Electric, Bethel Woods, and HMS Motorsports have been there for us and we
greatly appreciate it. ┬áThis has been a lot of fun and we can’t wait for our
first points’ race at Greenville Pickens Speedway on March 27th.”