It's time for Speed51.com and Quarter Master to honor the 2014 Clutch Performance of the Year.
Performing in the clutch is what separates a winning driver from the rest of the pack. Flexing muscle at the right time is something that true talents possess. Often luck plays a big role in winning versus losing, but being able to squeeze just enough strength out at the perfect opportunity is what separates winners from losers. Performing in the clutch doesn't necessarily mean winning, however; it's all about making the most from what you've got.
That's why Quarter Master, providers of winning clutches & driveline components to racers from Super Speedway to the Bullring, from IRL to Rally, from NASCAR to the "Weekend Warrior," is proud to honor a weekly "Clutch Performance of the Month" from the short track ranks of America. Each month, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders vote on which drivers came through in the clutch. The driver or team with the most votes will then be the "Clutch Performance of the Month." At the end of the year, a panel then selects, of the monthly winners, which earns the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Year.
Now it's time for Speed51.com and Quarter Master to reveal the winner of the 2014 Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the year. After the votes were tallied for the monthly winners at the end of the 2014 season, the driver or team that received the most votes throughout the season will then be the "Clutch Performer of the Year" and will be awarded a 5.5 Optimum V Magnesium Bell Housing kit from Quarter Master. For more on Quarter Master, visit www.quartermasterusa.com
The 2014 Speed51.com/Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Year winner is...
NASCAR K&N Pro Series East & ACT Late Models
When you think of the word “clutch” you think of primetime. You think about athletes that perform well in big game scenarios and come out on top. During the 2014 racing season, it’s hard to think of a short track driver that did that as well as Rowley, Massachusetts’ Eddie MacDonald.
MacDonald kicked off his impressive 2014 campaign in style by travelling south to Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) with his Massachusetts-based team and beating the best drivers of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East on one of the biggest stages of the year.
“The Outlaw” lined up next to eventual series champion Ben Rhodes, who led 130 of 132 laps, on a late-race restart and used some restart magic to pull away from Rhodes and score one of the biggest wins of his career.
Fast forward about a few weeks. MacDonald was visiting his home track of Lee USA Speedway (NH), a track which his parents Red and Judy MacDonald own, for the season-opening American-Canadian Tour event. Although he started on the pole for the race, he faded back in the early stages only to make a strong charge at the end.
Once again, "Eddie Mac" found himself in a position to win the race with under five laps to go. He made the winning move around the outside of Ray Parent with four laps to go and held off 2014 ACT champion Joey Polewarczyk, Jr. on a late race restart to win his first career New Hampshire Governor’s Cup at Lee.
That wouldn’t be the end of MacDonald’s clutch performances in ACT Late Model competition. The veteran wheelman picked up one of the most shocking wins of his career when he held off 2014 track champion Derrick O’Donnell to win the Vermont Milk Bowl at Thunder Road (VT). His win came just one year after failing to qualify for the event and at a track that MacDonald had admittedly struggled at in the past.
Just over a month later at Speedway 51 (NH), formerly Riverside Speedway, MacDonald scored another big money ACT Late Model win when he took the lead from Brad Babb on lap 46 and went on to win the $3,000-to-win Fall Brawl 150.
For his clutch performance on a late race restart at Bristol Motor Speedway in March, Eddie MacDonald received the most first-place votes from 51's panel to become the Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the month of March.
And it was that performance, coupled with his clutch performances up and down the East Coast during the 2014 racing season, which earned MacDonald the 2014 Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Year. MacDonald will receive a free 5.5 Optimum V Magnesium Bell Housing kit from Quarter Master, their top-of-the-line short track setup.
"Quarter Master is excited once again to award Eddie the Clutch Performer of the Year," said Jeff Neal, President of Quarter Master. "Eddie had a great season, but the highlight for us was his win at Bristol. Bristol has so much tradition and the best of the best in all forms of stock car racing have won there. He must be very proud.
"We would also like to thank Bob and the Speed51 gang for operating such a great web site dedicated to short track racing. Best of luck to all the racers vying for the Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Month awards leading up to the 2015 Clutch Performance of the Year."
For more on Quarter Master's industry-leading lineup, visit www.quartermasterusa.com