DSC_8478Eddie MacDonald survived the grueling ACT International 500 in Plattsburgh, N.Y. in the American Canadian Tour’s inaugural event nosing out Booby Therrien at the line on the final lap for fourth place in the final segment to vault the veteran racer into a third place overall finish. The two day event on the half mile oval in upstate New York culminated with three segments on Sunday for 100 laps each with 40 cars taking the first green flag.

Eddie Mac ran fourth, fifth, and fourth in the Hancock Electric sponsored Chevy in the three segments for a combined score of 13, good enough for third place behind ACT‘s dominant performers in winner Joey Pole and runner-up Brian Hoar. The Freddie Peterson owned Chevy came from a tenth starting position in the heat to nip Brent Dragon at the line to advance to the feature with a +4 rating. The long time K&N Pro Series East and part-time ACT driver took the green flag in the fifth spot in the first 100 lap segment. The field would be inverted in each of the final two segments.

“We are very happy to finish third in this race against such great competition,” said Eddie Mac after the race. “We had been struggling with this car for some time but after our second place run in the ACT race at Star Speedway, Rollie and I decided last week to run here. We have not done well here the last two races but we thought we found something and we did. We were not as good as Joey and Brian but we were pretty good. It was a tough grind today with practice, the heat, and the three segments but it was all worth it in the end. To finish third overall is a credit to Rollie and the crew for all their hard work. I am happy for Freddie and his wife Sheila for hanging in there with us.”

The #17 scored a fourth place finish in the first segment and with the field inverted took the green flag for the second 100 lap segment in 30th place. A huge wreck in turn one started with the two lead cars on the first lap sent ten cars to the pits with substantial damage. Eddie Mac restarted in the 11th position then quickly moved into fifth on the 22nd circuit. The Rowley, Mass. driver was content to ride in the top five for the remainder of the race to save the car for the third and final 100 lap segment. With the fifth place finish, Eddie Mac was third in the points with a total of nine.

“The car was a little tight in the first segment and we loosened it up for the second one but it was still a little tight. Then we loosened it up too much for the final making it too loose but we knew we were racing for third place. Joey and Brian really had their cars dialed in and were in a class of their own. No one was going to challenge them today,” said MacDonald. “We knew we could have a solid finish and had to race some tough competition over the final segment to finish third. We only had a shot at the win if both Joey and Brian had problems but that didn’t seem likely. We were running for third but hopeful something would happen to give us a chance for the win.”

With the field inverted again for the final 100 laps, the Hancock Electric Chevy started 29th in the scheduled field of 36 cars. Attrition took its toll in the first two segments with only 20 cars left standing to take the green flag for the conclusion of the highly successful Airborne 500. By lap 22, the #17 rode comfortably in the sixth spot and into fifth with only 17 laps remaining. Eddie Mac had to get by Bobby Therrien for fourth place to win the tiebreaker with Scott Payea for the coveted third place podium finish. On the final lap, MacDonald ran on the outside and drove it in hard in turns three and four to pull ahead by a bumper at the checkered flag.

“Rollie and I did not know what we would have when we came here, so it was a fantastic finish for the team,” said an excited driver after the race. “We are all excited for our last two runs and we are looking forward to competing with this car in the ACT race at Beech Ridge (August 17). We had a great two days here and look forward to the remainder of the season in the ACT races we are scheduled to run.”

Eddie Mac will drive the Grimm Construction/MS Society Chevy in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Iowa Speedway on Friday, August 2 in the second combination race against its West Series rivals.