Eddie MacDonald joined a pair of Northeast racing legends and a NASCAR Cup Series champion in the record books Saturday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. MacDonald of Rowley, Massachusetts pulled away from the field late to win the 50-lap Granite State Pro Stock Series race as part of the inaugural New England Short Track Showdown.
With the win, his 10th career victory at the one-mile oval, MacDonald ties Mike Stefanik, Ted Christopher and Kyle Busch on the track’s all-time wins list.
“It’s definitely a huge honor. Growing up watching Mike Stefanik and Ted Christopher race there and seeing them win there all the time, just being able to catch up to them and have as many wins as them is great,” MacDonald told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’ve been going to that track ever since it was built and it’s just awesome to be able to get another win there and be tied with those guys.”
MacDonald started from the pole position and held the lead until lap 19 when defending PASS North champion DJ Shaw made his way by for the lead. Without a fully-secured rear deck lid on his No. 17 car, MacDonald slipped back to third prior to the lap 28 competition caution break.
“(The rear deck lid) slipped over the lip and just really caused havoc on the aero on the back of that car, which really screwed the handling up and took the balance away,” MacDonald explained. “Luckily they were able to get it fixed really quick and get that car back to where it was.”
Following the break, MacDonald used a three-wide move to the inside just after taking the green flag to take away the lead from Shaw. From there, “The Outlaw” pulled away to win the inaugural GSPSS race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
“We had a couple issues going on at the end of the first half. A tire was blistering and a little aero was getting screwed up, so they fixed that on the pit stop and the car went right back to where it was the first half of the race,” MacDonald stated.
“I’m just lucky to be able to drive a fast car like that. (Crew chief) Rollie (LaChance) always gives me a good setup when we go to New Hampshire and Dave Lemieux, having the backing to put this whole deal together, and Paul Rinaldi building the engine. We had all the right pieces together.”
Shaw, who entered the weekend hoping to earn his first career victory at New Hampshire, finished first after leading 10 laps during the middle portion of the race.
“All in all we were a second-place car and we finished second,” Shaw said in Victory Lane after the race.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour competitor Matt Swanson, former GSPSS champion Mike O’Sullivan and Tommy O’Sullivan completed the top five.
Race fans can find on-demand Trackside Now coverage from the inaugural New England Short Track Showdown by clicking here.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51
-Photo credit: John A. Miller Photography
Granite State Pro Stock Series Unofficial Results
July 1, 2017 – New Hampshire Motor Speedway