Eddie MacDonald qualified sixth in the opening event for the K & N Pro East
Series race in the Kevin Whitaker Chevrolet 150 at the famed speedway but an
early race incident upset the handling of the Grimm Construction Chevy. The
eventual flat tire resulted in a seventeenth finish for the veteran Rowley,
Mass. driver.

“I got pinched into the wall about forty laps into the race and I think that
is what caused the tire to eventually go flat,” said MacDonald after the
race. “I was just out there running easy and trying to save my tires for the
end of the race but that didn’t happen. The tire developed a slow leak and
by the end of the race it was junk. We had a decent car and we were set up
for the end so it was just a matter of being patient and not abusing the
tires. All that went out the window when the tire went away.”

After finishing third in last year’s race MacDonald knew a good qualifying
run was essential to get up front and stay out of trouble. MacDonald
qualified sixth with a time of 20.959 seconds, only one of nine cars in the
thirty car field to post a time below 21 seconds around the flat, half-mile
oval. When the green flag waved, MacDonald continued to hold on to the fifth
position for nearly forty laps when another car squeezed him into the wall.
“I didn’t think it hurt the car at the time but as we went along I started
losing the handling and it really got loose in the turns. I probably should
have come in at that time but I didn’t want to give up the track position.
Greenville is a place where it is tough to make the lap back if you stop.”

MacDonald maintained his position despite the tire issue. With only 50 laps
to go MacDonald was running in the top ten but the handling was quickly
becoming an issue. On lap 119 MacDonald radioed Rollie (LaChance) that the
tire was definitely going down and by the lap 127-caution the tire finally
blew out. “It was one of those things that if I pitted earlier and it wasn’t
the tire going down then I made a big mistake that cost us positions.
However If I waited to see and it went then I would have made the wrong
decision. It was just one of those things that whatever I did it was going
to turn out wrong,” said the dejected veteran driver.

A caution flag flew for a wreck in turn one on lap 127 and MacDonald headed
for the pits only to learn that NASCAR officials gave him a one lap
“discretionary” penalty. “I don’t know what happened there. They were
wrecking in turn one so I slowed on the front stretch so I wouldn’t get in
the mess because I couldn’t turn the car with the flat. It was one of those
things. It was a very frustrating day all around. I thought we had the car
to be there at the end. It may not have been a winning car but I thought we
had a top five car. It really stinks because Rollie and the crew worked hard
through the winter to get us ready for the season. Hopefully we will come
back next week at So. Boston and have the run we are capable of having. With
only a ten race schedule, every race is so important for points in the
championship race.”

The K & N Pro East Series will take the green flag on Saturday, April 3rd on
the legendary So. Boston Speedway.