posted at 3:34 pm Mon Jul 21st, 2014 by (WherezIt_Staff)
Eddie MacDonald's debut in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Camping World RV Sales 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway may not have ended in Victory Lane but for many the veteran driver from Rowley, Mass. exhibited the same effort and determination even to the final two laps in the green/white /checker finish as he has throughout his racing career.
After racing to an incredible second place finish in Friday night's K&N Pro Series East event in the Granite State 100, Eddie Mac focused his attention on getting used to the #32 Go FAS Racing entry owned by fellow New Englanders Archie St. Hilaire and Frankie Stoddard and sponsored by TryAndrozene.com. Being the competitor that he is MacDonald was not completely satisfied with the 35th place run saying, "I had a blast driving in my first Cup ride and I have so many people to thank for the opportunity, I just wished I could have finished a few spots higher. I have to thank crew chief Ben Leslie, my spotter Curtis and the Go FAS crew for really helping me through my first Cup experience. I learned so much from them and they made it a lot of fun."
MacDonald fought a tight handling car in practice and qualified 40th in the 43 car field for Sunday's one o'clock start in front of a huge crowd gathered at the "Magic Mile" saying, "It was an incredible experience to be introduced to so many fans. I was excited to race with family, friends, and so many New England fans cheering for me. NHMS even sold Eddie Mac Pack tickets for $32.00 and I heard those seats were sold out, so I am really humbled by all the support I received. It is a day I will never forget. Of course I have to thank Archie and Frank for giving me this fantastic opportunity to allow me to make my dream come true. My special thanks go to Mike Alden, the CEO and President of Blue Vase Marketing based in Beverly, Mass. for providing the sponsorship for TryAndrozene.com and Arthi-D3. We had the opportunity to spend time with Mike and his friends before the race and afterward and he is really a super guy. I appreciate his support and hopefully we can do it again someday."
When the green flag waved, Eddie Mac rode in the 40th position satisfied with adjusting to the car and racing with the world's best drivers. The car was tight from the start and six time winner at NHMS in the East and ACT series used his experience to help overcome the tight condition saying, "The car felt pretty good but a little tight so I tried using the apron in the turns when I could to help the corner transition. As the race went on it went to the tight side in the center of the turns and loose off. It just wanted to shove the nose so I had to drag the brake to get it to turn."
When the first caution flag flew on lap 13, the team elected to stay out to gain track position while most pitted for tires. "Our strategy was to stay out and get a later caution but unfortunately none came. It was a good plan but unfortunately it didn't happen so we headed to the pits on lap 95. By that time we were a couple of laps down. We took a couple of wave arounds so by halfway we were three laps down and running 38th. The car was still real tight and the adjustments helped a little but didn't have a lot of grip in turn three."
The team set its sights on running down the #83 that would give valuable points in the upcoming races. It became the race within a race. MacDonald ran in the 37th position for most of the race until a heads-up call by Leslie brought the #32 to the pits for right side tires when the caution flag waved with three laps to go to set up the G/W/C finish. Eddie Mac was able to use the fresh rubber to hold off the #83 and post a 35th place finish.
"Eddie did a good job," said Archie St. Hilaire after the race. "Making that pass on the #83 during the G/W/C finish really helped out the team point's wise. He finished only four spots off the lead cars we generally compete against in our class. For his first time out in a Cup car I am very pleased with his run. Eddie brought the car home in one piece and I love that we will just have to clean it up and it will be ready for the next race. I am very happy that Go FAS Racing was able to put Eddie in the seat for his first Cup ride especially at NHMS. He is a great person with a terrific family and race team and I just love those guys. Hopefully we will be able to do something together again."
"This has all been a dream come true for me," said Eddie Mac. "It has been a fantastic experience and I am thankful for everyone's support from Archie, Frank, and Mike to all my family, friends, teammates and the legion of fans from all over New England. Even New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan stopped by the hauler before the race to wish me well. I will treasure this experience and if it never happens again, I'll have this memory. But I would sure like to do it again!
Waterbury, VT 05676 (Set as Local)
Barre, VT 05641 (Set as Local)
Rowley, MA 01969 (Set as Local)
Loudon, NH 03307 (Set as Local)