Eddie MacDonald continued to show his strength in major American-Canadian Tour Late Model races on Sunday night at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). The Rowley, Massachusetts driver, who has wins in the ACT Invitational, Milk Bowl and Oxford 250, added another big race to his wins list after starting on the pole and leading wire-to-wire to win the first leg of the ACT American Racer Challenge.
“It’s great,” MacDonald told Speed51.com powered by JEGS in victory lane. “We struggled here the last time we came down, so it’s great to come down here with a different car and get a win for (car owners) Freddie and Sheila Peterson.
“I used to come down here and watch Speedweeks and always wanted to come down here and race. I never thought I’d be able to come down here and race, never mind come down here and win. I just can’t thank these guys enough.”
Macdonald started on the pole after recording an impressive plus-seven during his qualifying heat race. From the moment the green flag waved, those in attendance knew that “The Outlaw” was going to be tough to beat.
Starting from the 14th position, Patrick Laperle would make a strong charge through the field during the early stages. He was able to sneak up to MacDonald’s back bumper on a few occasions during the later stages of the race, but was never able to challenge for the lead during the caution-free event.
“I think I killed the right rear. I was so hard on the tire,” Laperle said after the race. “Eddie started first and I started 14th, so I knew there was a good car starting up front. I figured there would not be too many yellows, but none? We did a great job, so hopefully come back tomorrow and get the win.”
Although MacDonald wasn’t ever challenged for the lead, on a few occasions throughout the race he had to really get up on the wheel when he saw Laperle charging.
“A few times Patrick looked like he was coming and I saw him in my mirror and had to get going,” said MacDonald. “It was a tough race dealing with lapped traffic and those guys catching us. It was a lot of fun out there.”
For Laperle, his first event of the 2015 ACT season is a great improvement over his final event of the 2014 season. Following a below-standards performance during qualifying for the Milk Bowl at Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl (VT), Laperle made the decision to load up and go home before Sunday’s race.
But on Sunday afternoon, Laperle has someone there that wasn’t with him at the Milk Bowl.
“My brother (Eric) was not there (at the Milk Bowl), so I was so happy he was coming for Speedweeks,” said Laperle. “Hopefully he will stay with us more often. It’s the same car, actually. We did some stupid thing on the car and it didn’t work, that’s why.”
The American-Canadian Tour will resume action on Monday night with the second leg of the American Racer Challenge at New Smyrna Speedway (FL).
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
ACT Late Model Results
| 1||17MA||Eddie MacDonald||100||100|
| 2||91QC||Patrick Laperle||100||0|
| 3||27NH||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.||100||0|
| 4||16ME||Travis Stearns||100||0|
| 5||97NH||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.||100||0|
| 6||48QC||Alex Labbé||100||0|
| 7||29NH||Aaron Fellows||100||0|
| 8||17RI||Ray Parent||100||0|
| 9||31NH||Luke Hinkley||100||0|
| 10||15VT||Bradley Babb||100||0|
| 11||40VT||Nick Sweet||99||0|
| 12||10MA||Tom Carey, Jr.||99||0|
| 13||28ME||Rowland Robinson||99||0|
| 14||4NY||Brandon Atkins||99||0|
| 15||58VT||Jimmy Hebert||99||0|
| 16||10VT||Josh Demers||99||0|
| 17||21MA||Pete Yetman||99||0|
| 18||68CT||Jeff Rocco||99||0|
| 19||1CT||Keith Rocco||99||0|
| 20||2QC||Daniel Descoste||99||0|
| 21||80QC||Donald Theetge||99||0|
| 22||40NC||Dylan Smith||98||0|
| 23||96QC||Brandon White||66||0|
| 24||9NH||Kyle Welch||35||0|
| 25||14MA||Eddie Leclerc||7||0|
| 26||07QC||Jean-Pierre Ouimet||1||0|