One night after leading all 100 laps of the American-Canadian Tour season-opening event at New Smyrna Speedway (FL), Eddie MacDonald found himself having to pass cars, fend off challenges and stay out of trouble in order to secure a second straight victory on Monday night. Fortunately for MacDonald, he was able to do all of that on his way to scoring his second straight win at the 49th Annual World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing.
Starting from the fourth spot, the Rowley, Massachusetts driver once again looked to be the class of the field early on. That was until lap 45 when New Hampshire driver Aaron Fellows closed in on MacDonald and took over the lead for the first time.
It wasn’t until lap 86 that MacDonald would have another chance at the top spot, but when the chance arose he made sure to take advantage of it. He used the high side around the half-mile oval to re-take the top spot on lap 87 and never looked back on his way to his second win at New Smyrna Speedway in two nights.
“This is awesome just because I didn’t think we were going to have a chance,” MacDonald told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “The 29 (Fellows) got out front and took off. I thought we were going to get some cautions but it didn’t seem like they were going to come soon enough. These guys have done a great job all weekend figuring this car out and figuring this track out, so this has been a great experience.”
Fellows would end up being involved in a late race incident that put an end to his great run, while a pair of former ACT champions in Wayne Helliwell, Jr. and Alex Labbe made their way into the mix in the closing laps. Helliwell, a two-time ACT champions, used patience throughout the event to make his way to the front and eventually challenge MacDonald on a late restart before settling for a second-place finish.
“It was good overall, no complaints. It was just a little rough out there tonight,” Helliwell said after the race. “We made some gains over last night’s performance, so the car is going in the right direction. We’ll work on it a little bit more tonight and maybe we’ll be able to pull off a win tomorrow.”
Labbe, the defending Serie ACT champion, had an eventful day that ultimately resulted in a third-place finish for the driver from the province of Quebec. His team was forced to swap engines following the final ACT practice and then surrendered a top-10 spot in the running order during the 100-lap race to come down pit road just over a quarter of the way into the race.
“I was just about the same speed as them,” Labbe said when asked if he thought he may have been able to challenge MacDonald and Helliwell. “I was just a little tight. Our car was just a little loose at the beginning and I knew it wouldn’t stay for a long run. We sacrificed our track position and came on strong at the end.
“I hoped to get back in the top-10, but I just took every spot I could in every occasion. We really learned a lot today.”
A pair of Vermont drivers, former Thunder Road Int’l Speedbowl (VT) champion Nick Sweet and rising Late Model star Josh Demers, completed the top-five.
Just one night after claiming that his car was nearly perfect, MacDonald believes his team will have to make a few adjustments on their No. 17MA in order to complete the ACT sweep at New Smyrna on Tuesday.
“Hopefully we can tune on this thing. I think we were a little better yesterday, so we’ll look at some notes and try to get back to that.”
All of the action on Tuesday night can be viewed for free on the FansChoice.TV powered by Speed51.com broadcast. You can also check out the FansChoice.TV website for on-demand video and see a full on-demand recap on NASCAR Home Tracks Race Central Live powered by Speed51.com by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
ACT American Racer Challenge Round #1 Unofficial Results
New Smyrna Speedway (FL) – February 16, 2015
|2||27NH||Wayne Helliwell, Jr.||100|
|15||10MA||Tom Carey, Jr.||99|
|16||14MA||Eddie LeClerc, Jr.||99|
|21||97NH||Joey Polewarczyk, Jr.||28|