DSC_8478In less than 24 hours Eddie MacDonald and the Grimm Racing Team competed in two races separated by 1500 miles. On Saturday night, MacDonald finished 15th in the NASCAR K & N Pro Series East race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida. On Sunday afternoon the veteran driver took the checkered flag in third place in the American Canadian Tour’s Governor’s Cup 150 at Lee USA Speedway in Lee, NH in the season opener.

The Rowley, Mass. native started 23rd in the inaugural NAPA Auto Parts 150 on the half mile track in Florida and was headed toward the front when the handling went away. A mandatory ten minute break at the halfway mark allowed the teams to make adjustments and change four tires. The #71 Grimm Construction Chevy ran in the 12th spot with MacDonald confident of a good finish.

“We made adjustments at the beginning of the race and the car was handling good enough to be in 12th place at the break without really driving it too hard,” said MacDonald. “We planned to tweak the adjustments we made at the beginning of the race for the remaining laps. Things did not go as planned and the car just got tighter as the race went on. Instead of going forward, we started sliding back in the field. We hoped for a caution somewhere but it never came, so we just had to stay out there and get the best finish we could.”

After posting two top ten finishes so far this season, a seventh at Bristol and an eighth at Greenville last week, Eddie Mac said, “We obviously are disappointed in the finish and hope to come back strong in our next race at Richmond in a couple of weeks. We get a little bit of a breather so we can prepare at our shop for that race. We have been on the road for the last couple of weeks so it will be nice to get home.”

The #71 carried the National Multiple Sclerosis Society logo on the rear quarter panels as it will all season in support of MS Awareness. The #17 Late Model raced at also displayed the Logo for the Governor’s Cup race with Eddie Mac saying, “It is always great to win but you really realize what is important when something like MS affects someone you know. The Grimm family needs all our support at this time and hopefully we can raise awareness and support to find a cure for this disease. It was great to have a lot of family members make the trip from Pa. to Lee for the race. It really meant a lot to us to have them there. I didn’t get to see everyone, but knowing they were there to support us with everything they are dealing with really says a lot about their strength. Megan and a lot of Grimm Nation will be participating in the MS Walk around Pocono Speedway on May 5 and I urge everyone to support the cause in some way. Donations can be made in Megan’s (Spaulding) name to the MS Society.

When the NAPA 150 ended, crew chief Rollie LaChance and Eddie Mac drove five hours to Atlanta airport to catch a ride to Boston. The exhausted pair arrived at the track at 11:00 am just in time for the driver’s meeting. With only one 40 minute practice session the #17 was able to finish fourth in the heat to secure an 18th starting position for the 150 laps. When the green flag waved MacDonald advanced a few spots and was riding comfortably until lap 60 when LaChance suggested he pick it up with the leaders closing. By lap 76, Eddie Mac was 12th and heading to the front. After the caution on lap 90, the Freddie Peterson owned Chevy began making its move to catch the leaders.

A spectacular three wide pass with MacDonald splitting the outside and inside cars was rewarded with a third place position with sights set on the top two drivers. MacDonald took over second on lap 128 with 22 laps remaining but three caution flags took their toll.

“I thought we had a chance to win it but we were lousy on the restarts,” said MacDonald. “The tires had nothing left and I just kept spinning them on the restarts and the 58 was just too strong. We ended up losing second place because we were stuck on the outside and just sliding around. We had a great finish though and we were happy to get third place. It was a rough couple of days but it was all worth it. Rollie and I are happy for Freddie (Peterson) and thank him for all his support. We will be racing his car in some upcoming ACT races so it was good to start off strong. It was nice to have a good run for all the Grimm family and friends that made the trip from Pa. and to represent MS Awareness.”