Eddie MacDonald survived an early spin to claim the sixth place finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia. The run vaulted the team into sixth place in the point’s
race with six races remaining. A three hour rain delay pushed the green flag starting time to 11 pm. for the Slack Auto Parts 150 for the 30-car grid on the half-mile oval.
The Grimm Construction Chevy qualified in the 20th position (17.698 sec,-101.706 mph) with the veteran driver saying, “We obviously wanted to start near the front but we knew the car was fast and would be there at the end. We were fifth fastest in the first practice and then made changes for the second practice (13th fastest), so we knew we the car was handling well. Our plan was just to take what we could get and be patient. Unfortunately, I was the one that messed up that strategy.”
When the green flag waved, MacDonald was content to drive around early but then brought out the first caution saying, “I just lost it in the fourth turn and spun it all by myself. I did the same thing last year in the same turn but luckily no one hit me this year. We were able to continue but I’m sure the spin flat-spotted the tires otherwise I think we could have had an even better finish.”
By lap 83 MacDonald was riding 11th in the field and into seventh with only 30 laps to go. When the final caution flag of the night waved on lap 143 (6 cautions for 32 laps), the race would be decided with another
green/white/checker finish for the second week in a row. With cars running out of fuel, Eddie Mac decided the safe thing to do would be to conserve as much as possible for the final laps saying, “We were surprised that cars were running out, so I ran on the bottom of the track with the clutch in just in case we were low. I didn’t heat up the tires or anything so when the green flag flew all the guys who were conserving slid up the track. Guys who heated the tires like Andrew Smith were able to stick in the corner and make the pass.”
MacDonald said of the sixth place finish, “Of course we would have liked to finish in the top five but we will take this. We had a third place at Iowa, then we should have had a second or third place finish last week at Bowman Gray that was taken away from us by a scoring glitch that also cost us a destroyed racecar. This week’s run was the third strong effort and was really good for the team heading into the second half of the season. I had a lot of fun out there tonight especially racing with Andrew Smith. We have become friends this season and we race each other hard but clean. We didn’t have anything for the leaders tonight but we are sure heading in the right direction. We should have a lot of fun at Langley next week. It has been a
tough stretch with three races in three weeks but we will be ready for Saturday.”
The K&N Series will make its first appearance at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va. On Saturday, June 18 at 6 p.m. in the VisitHamptonVa 175. The Slack Auto Parts 150 can be seen on Speed Channel on Thursday at 6 p.m.