Monday, July 20, 2009

MacDonald cherishes the wait


The Top 3 Finishers of the TD Banknorth 250 (CMSB/Pierre's of Exchange St)

Special to The CMSB

By Chris Roy

Oxford, ME – It was well worth the wait for Eddie MacDonald.

After dominating last year’s TD Banknorth 250, only to finish well back in the event, he finished the task by winning the 36th Annual TD Banknorth 250 at Oxford Plains Speedway on Sunday evening.

Much like last year, MacDonald had a dominating car leading 102 of 250 laps including the final 83 circuits around the famed 3/8th mile oval for the victory.

With the win, in only his third year competing in the race, MacDonald took home a prize purse of $35, 200, earning $100 per lap led on top of the $25,000 prize for winning the event.

“We didn’t get the finishes we wanted the first two years, but it made it all worth it for this one,” said MacDonald.

MacDonald, after winning his heat race, started third on the grid and battled hard with pole sitter Brent Dragon before taking the lead on lap five.

Dragon would regain the lead a short time later, holding serve for the next 90 laps. After encountering lap traffic, Dragon relinquished the lead John Donahue with Quebec-born racer Patrick Laperle, MacDonald and Brad Leighton rounding out the top-five.

It would be a five-way battle among those five drivers until a caution at lap 129 allowed the leaders to pit for tires and fuel.

“We sort of played it by ear,” said MacDonald. “We actually weren’t going to come in, but after (John Donahue) pulled in (to pit), we decided to turn down in (for pit lane). We didn’t want to get too far off sequence.”

After being shuffled to the back 10th-place, MacDonald began the slow process of working his way back up to the front of the field.

At lap 135, front-runner and favorite Joey Pole got too high in turn three and nearly escaped from hitting the front-stretch wall. Unfortunately, he’d lose a lap after race director rule he didn’t stay in front of the leaders before the caution came out.

MacDonald with a strong car all weekend was moving methodically through the field, eventually getting to second place, behind leader Brian Hoar with 85 laps in the event.

He’d sooner, rather than later, regained the lead from Brian Hoar with Patrick Laperle moving into second.

Laperle tried to get by MacDonald, but the Rawley, Mass. native was too strong for the field as Laperle settle for second place, followed by John Donahue, Brian Hoar, Shawn Martin, Brent Dragon, Ben Rowe, Chris Michaud, Brad Leighton and Travis Sterns rounding out the top-10.

Last year, MacDonald won the Camping World East race at Loudon, NH and was more than happy to add this to his resume.

“It’s just awesome,” he said. “To get our two biggest goals (Loudon & Oxford) right now, it’s just great to get both of them one year right after the other.”

“It’s perfect.”

NOTES: Kenny and Steve Wallace needed owner provisional’s in order make the starting field of the TD Banknorth 250. Kenny Wallace started 43rd and moved up to the top-10 before fading and falling out of the race on lap 201. Steve Wallace would finish 21st, three laps down, after starting 42nd on the grid. The ACT Tour will return to Maine next weekend when they travel to Scarborough for a 150-lap event. It will be the Tour’s first trip to the Beech Ridge Motor Speedway in 17 years.

Check out Chris Roy at Maine Hockey



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