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

Fin # Driver Laps Led
17MAEddie MacDonald 100100
91QCPatrick Laperle1000
27NHWayne Helliwell, Jr.1000
16METravis Stearns1000
97NHJoey Polewarczyk, Jr.1000
48QCAlex Labbé1000
29NHAaron Fellows1000
17RIRay Parent1000
31NHLuke Hinkley1000
15VTBradley Babb1000
40VTNick Sweet990
10MATom Carey, Jr.990
28MERowland Robinson990
4NYBrandon Atkins990
58VTJimmy Hebert990
10VTJosh Demers990
21MAPete Yetman990
68CTJeff Rocco990
1CTKeith Rocco990
2QCDaniel Descoste990
80QCDonald Theetge990
40NCDylan Smith 980
96QCBrandon White 660
9NHKyle Welch350
14MAEddie Leclerc70
07QCJean-Pierre Ouimet10

MacDonald Checks Another One Off the List at New Smyrna