When Stafford Speedway announced the addition of a K&N East Pro Series event on June 17 to its 2016 schedule, perhaps no driver was more excited than Eddie MacDonald. The Rowley, MA native and driver of the #71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet has 7 career K&N East wins with one of those wins coming at Stafford back in 2007.
“Stafford is definitely one of the tougher tracks to get a hold of but I’m excited about going back and I’ll be looking forward to it,” said MacDonald. “Now that the schedule is out, we’ll look at it and pick the races we think we can run well at and try to get a win, and I’d say almost definitely we’re going to be at Stafford. My car owner, Rob Grimm, is in Pennsylvania so I drive by the Stafford exit every time we go to a race and I always say it would be nice to be racing there instead of driving another 15 or 16 hours to a race. I had no idea that Stafford was a possibility of getting back on the schedule and I was really excited when I saw that.”
MacDonald’s results at Stafford read like a mixed bag throughout his career. He struggled in his first few races at Stafford, but gradually started to see better results. MacDonald has 1 win, 2 top-5, and 7 top-10 finishes in 15 starts at Stafford with the majority of his good runs coming in the second half of his 15 Stafford starts. MacDonald also credits hooking up with Rollie LaChance as his crew chief as the main reason why he was able to turn his Stafford struggles into success. MacDonald’s winning experience at Stafford may just give him a leg up on the competition as most drivers will be seeing the half-mile for the very first time on June 17 when the K&N Pro East Series cars take to the track for the NASCAR 150.
“I can remember racing at Stafford 3 times a year and it was always my worst track when I first started out racing,” said MacDonald. “Then I started to get the hang of it and once I got teamed up with Rollie LaChance as my crew chief, I think it was our second race together at Stafford is when we ended up winning. I feel like we can be pretty competitive at Stafford. Having been on the track before and knowing what it takes to win there should help us out but on the other side of that, some of the teams on the K&N Series have crew chiefs who have been to Stafford before and can get their cars going really good. They’re typically fast right out of the trailer. If you look in the K&N garage today, it resembles an Xfinity Series garage with the caliber of teams and equipment and those guys all catch on pretty quickly. We’re an all volunteer crew, just like the old Busch North used to be. There’s not many teams left like us, most are full-time teams. It can get frustrating when you get beat by those guys, but those days when you have a good run and get a win are great. It means the world to us and makes all the hard work we put in worthwhile.”
The NASCAR 150 returns to Stafford Motor Speedway on Friday, June 17. The K&N Pro East Series cars will be joined by Stafford’s five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions plus the Legend Cars. Tickets will be priced at $27.50 for adult general admission tickets, $5.00 for children ages 6-14, and children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Reserved seating is $30.00 for all ages and all ticket prices include 10% CT Admission Tax. Stafford Motor Speedway offers plenty of free parking along with overnight parking available for self-contained Recreational Vehicles.
For more information, contact the Stafford Motor Speedway track office at 860-684-2783 or visit us on the web at www.staffordspeedway.com.
-Stafford Motor Speedway Press Release. Photo credit: Speed51.com