One week after his 34th birthday, short track racing standout Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Massachusetts will make his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Debut on July 13 in the Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
MacDonald, who competes full-time on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East circuit and part-time with the American-Canadian Tour, will enter the July 13 event driving the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford Fusion for fellow New Englander Archie St. Hilaire of Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
“It’s very exciting,” MacDonald told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “It’s something that every racer around New England dreams about. Every racer around here wants to race in the Sprint Cup Series race at Loudon.”
MacDonald and Hilaire have teamed up with another New Englander, Michael Alden, President and CEO of Blue Vase Marketing in Beverly, Massachusetts to make this opportunity possible. Blue Vase Marketing will support MacDonald as the primary sponsor on MacDonald’s No. 32 for the event.
“With an all New England team this really is a great opportunity,” the 33-year-old MacDonald said. “I’m so thankful to Archie (St. Hilaire), Michael Alden, and Blue Vase Marketing for working together in order to make this opportunity possible for me.”
In a team press release, St. Hilaire explained that Alden expressed interest a long time ago about sponsoring a New England native for the big race at NHMS. The minute that Alden inquired about sponsoring a driver, St. Hilaire instantly knew that MacDonald was their guy.
“I was talking with Mike (Alden) some time ago and he expressed interest in sponsoring a New England driver for the NHMS race and asked me if I knew of anyone,” said St Hilaire. “I immediately said ‘I sure do’ and gave him Eddie’s name.
“Eddie is a great driver with a lot of successful experience at this track with six wins. I love Eddie, his family, and his entire race team. They are a great bunch of people and I couldn’t be happier for Eddie and our team. It will be a lot of fun and with Eddie’s experience we hope to have a strong run.”
MacDonald’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut will come at a track that he is very familiar with and has seen a huge amount of success at throughout his career. “The Rowley Rocket” has three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East wins and three ACT Invitational wins at “The Magic Mile” on his resume.
Having his debut come at his home track in front of New England race fans adds to MacDonald’s excitement about making his first career NSCS start.
“It doesn’t get any better than that,” said MacDonald. “New Hampshire Motor Speedway is definitely my favorite track. It’s definitely, to be able to get my first start there in front of all of the New England fans, an amazing opportunity.”
During a time when younger drivers are making their NSCS debuts at the ages of 19 and 20, MacDonald is thankful to finally have the opportunity to live out his dream of racing at stock car racing’s highest level. Despite being older than most drivers making their first career starts in NASCAR’s top series, MacDonald doesn’t believe that age has any sort of factor once the cars pull onto the track on Sunday.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for me to get a Sprint Cup start regardless of my age,” said MacDonald. “It’s one of those things that I don’t think it matters age wise. That’s really just the new way of doing things now where they bring the young kids up through. I don’t think age really matters.”
Although he may be older than many of his competitors, MacDonald has raced just as many, if not more, laps around New Hampshire Motor Speedway than many of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers that will be in the field on July 13.
The Rowley, Massachusetts driver hopes that his experience racing stock cars around the flat one-mile NHMS oval will pay off when he straps into the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford Fusion for the first time.
“The thing that will help is that I’ve got a bunch of laps going around New Hampshire,” said MacDonald It’s not like we’re going to Homestead or somewhere like that where I don’t know the line and everything that goes along with learning a new track. I think that will help a little bit, but as far as the car goes that will be a whole new animal.”
Following his first career NSCS start, MacDonald will become the first driver ever to compete in all of NASCAR’s top-three series, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, and American-Canadian Tour events at “The Magic Mile”.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Camping World RV Sales 301 is scheduled to take the green flag on Sunday, July 13 at 1pm ET.
-By Brandon Paul, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @Brandon_Paul51.
Photo Credit: Grimm Racing