71eddie“This win is fantastic and unbelievable for our team,” beamed Eddie Mac after outdueling Ben Rhodes in the green-white-checker finish in NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East’s Pittlite 125 on the famed half-mile at Bristol. “Our team has worked so hard without muchsuccess of late so to get this win on this track is huge for our owner,crew, and fans. Winning at Bristol is a dream come true for any driverand I am humbled to win on such an historic track. It is easily one ofthe biggest wins of my career and I thank a lot of the people involved in this race team in helping me get this win.”

The Grimm Construction/Multiple Sclerosis Chevy showed promise during practice and eventually in qualifying. The #71 ranked 16th and 18th in the two practices (16.363sec-117.265 mph—16.334sec.-117.265mph) only two tenths of a second behind the leader on the fast, high-banked oval known as “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” On the second of two qualifying laps, Eddie Mac posted a 16.249sec-118.087mph run to start 13th on the grid.

Thirty-five cars lined up to take the green flag with a competition caution scheduled at or near lap 70. Teams would be allowed fuel and general maintenance on the cars but were not allowed to change tires. By lap six, the leaders were already lapping cars while the Grimm Chevy patiently moved from 13th to 10th by lap 19. Eddie Mac continued to save tires and pass when possible and restarted in the eighth position on the lap 38 restart and into sixth place on the lap 57 restart.

“The car was fast from the start and it was just a little tight so I was trying to conserve the tires and get to the half-way break to make a small adjustment,” said the Rowley, Mass. Veteran. On lap 64 Eddie Mac rode in the third spot and restarted in that position after the Competition Caution on lap 71 saying, “We made a half-turn wedge adjustment to loosen the car up just a bit and it was the right call. I was riding comfortably in third and then with fewer than 25 laps to go I felt I had a chance to win this thing.”

A caution flag on lap 110 really got the action going and Eddie Mac took advantage on the restart on lap 119 to move into second place. Another caution on lap 122 forced a green-white-checker finish with Ben Rhodes choosing the outside lane giving Eddie Mac the inside position. the veteran driver used the inside position to his advantage as tangled with Rhodes briefly before taking the lead for good over the final two laps then pulling away from second place Gray Gaulding with the race extending to lap 132 for the first GWC attempt.

“We had a really good car and I knew we were pretty fast,” said MacDonald in Victory Lane after the race. “I felt bad because I got into Ben Rhodes a little bit in turns 3&4. I got a little loose but I was just driving the wheels off it trying to get the win. It means a lot to get the win here. It’s unbelievable.”

When asked in the media center after the race to recount his day, the winning driver summed it up saying, “It was a little bit tight at the beginning and at the end it was perfect. I started pushing a little bit. With about 15-20 laps to go I got up there and it gave me the thought that on another restart we ought to be able to win this thing. I have had some big wins up North but I wanted to win one of these Southern races and it feels fantastic.”

“I thank Rob and Karla Grimm for all their support, the crew at the track and at the shop, and our sponsors, Grimm Construction, MS Society, Schroth Racing, Stilo, HMS Motorsports, Dirham Lumber and Racing with Jesus for their thoughts and prayers,” said Eddie Mac.

The Pittlite 125 will be televised on Fox Sport 1 on Saturday, March 22 at 11:30 a.m. The NASCAR K&N Series East will race again at Greenville Pickens Speedway on Saturday, March 22.