The K & N Pro Series East began the second half of the season in the Visit Hampton Va 175 at Langley Speedway in Virginia where the Grimm Construction Chevy posted a disappointing 13th place finish on the .396 oval. For the previous three races the team had satisfying runs and was confident for a
“We are disappointed with our run today. We thought we had turned the corner and were headed in the right direction with our last three races,” said Eddie MacDonald before continuing, “We missed the set up today and the car just stayed real loose for the whole race. We tried to tighten it up with a
couple of pit stops but the car remained real loose coming off the turns. I tried a number of different lines but it just didn’t work out.”
The team posted the eighth practice time (16.798 sec.-84.867 mph.) at the beginning of the first practice but a suspected brake issue forced the car to the pits after running only six laps. “The pedal was just real low and we thought the rotor was warped but it turned out to be the hub was actually bent. Of course the hauler was parked outside the track so we lost the entire first practice before we could get the part and put it in for the second practice. But losing that whole first practice hurt us because we never got to try the different shock and spring packages we had scheduled.”
MacDonald posted the 15th fastest time in the second practice then scored an 11th place qualifying position (16.646 sec.-85.642). When the green flag waved MacDonald made a strong move forward and by lap 16 the Grimm Chevy was in ninth and into eighth on lap 42 but lost a few positions when the car started sliding up the track with the veteran driver saying, “It was a little free in the center of the turn and it was real loose coming off so I tried to drop down to the bottom of the track near the entrance to pit road but there was a big dip down there that just bottomed the car out and sent it sailing up the track. I had to get close to that line though if I had any chance of keeping it on the bottom and not lose any more positions.”
The crew worked on the car a during two stops during a lap 118 caution then restarted 17th before making it back to the 13th spot on the grid by the lap 143 caution flag. A lapped car almost ended the night for the frustrated team as it careened up into the #71 off turn one and causing a severely damaged left front fender. MacDonald managed to drive the car the rest of the way but was unable to pass because of the damage to take the checkered flag in the 13th position.
“We really expected better especially after the last three races. It was unfortunate we missed it but I have to thank Rollie and the whole crew for all their hard work. These last three weeks have been tough on everyone with all the travel and getting the cars ready at the shop for the next race. We are a volunteer crew so these guys all have full time jobs and families so we appreciate everything they do for us. It is a big sacrifice and commitment for everyone involved with this team. The weather here was brutally hot and the guys worked their tails off in the heat and I am thankful for all the effort. It will be so nice for everyone with the next race at Loudon. We have had a lot of success there and it is close to home so we will definitely enjoy that race.”
Speed Channel will air the Visit Hampton Va 175 on Thursday, June 30 at 6 p.m. The next K & N race will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Friday July 15, at 5 p.m. Practice and qualifying will take place on Thursday.