2008 Race Stories and Photos
July 26th to December


Looking back at the 2008 season, the Speed51 experts have voted on which Clutch Performance of the Week was bigger and better than every other one.  The votes were cast and the race was close.  The winner of the "Clutch Performance of the Year" and will be awarded a clutch kit from Quarter Master, valued at $3,500.

Without further ado, the "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Year" for the 2008 season goes to ...

Eddie MacDonald
NASCAR Camping World East Series
- #71 Grimm Racing Chevrolet
and ACT Late Model Tour - #17 Pontiac

Two Camping World Series East Banquet Awards to MacDonald

Eddie collected both the POWERade Power Move of the Race Award and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver Award at the annual postseason awards banquet at the Mohegan Sun Resort on Friday, December 12th.

Eddie received the 7th place award for the 2008 CWES points standings.
CW East Race 13  - Sun., October 12th - CARQUEST Fall Final 150

- Stafford Springs, CT - .500 mile oval


Eddie MacDonald escaped the mayhem at the conclusion of the CARQUEST Fall Final 150 at the Stafford Motor Speedway to post a satisfying fifth place finish in the final Camping World Series East race of the season. After struggling in practice and qualifying 23rd on Saturday, the run was especially satisfying for the team.

“It was exactly what we needed. We were hoping for a little better but considering yesterday’s qualifying run that was so bad, this was a good finish. Rollie and the guys changed just about everything in the car last night and this morning. The only thing that stayed the same in the car was me. We didn’t know what to expect when the race started but they did a awesome job,” said MacDonald after the race.

When the green flag waved, the Grimm Construction/NEMO sponsored Chevy began moving to the front. By lap 30, MacDonald was in the 19th spot on the grid and into the 10th position on the lap 46 restart. At the halfway mark MacDonald was in eighth place then a number of caution flags near the end gave MacDonald the opportunity to gain three more positions.

“It was just a little tight in the center and just a little loose off the corners but we were able to avoid all the wrecks and sneak our way up there,” said the Rowley, Mass. driver. “It did get a little crazy out there but it is always like that on these short tracks. It gets real tight on the restarts at the end and it was great we weren’t involved in anything.”

Crew chief Rollie LaChance said after the race, “I’m very pleased. The car just moved forward all day long and Eddie did a good job maintaining. We didn’t try to set the world on fire. We picked them off sometimes one at a time; sometimes we got a bunch on a couple of restarts. They worked out well for us. I am real thrilled with the run because we changed four springs; two shocks, front and rear sway bars after qualifying so bad. It was a lot of changes to throw at a car but it worked out for us.”

With the two huge wins at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, six top five finishes, and scoring seventh in the points race, the driver, crew chief, and owner all expressed satisfaction with the season.

MacDonald said, “ It was fairly decent. We had a lot of ups and downs. We had a lot of top five runs that were great. We had fuel pump and engine issues that cost some decent finishes and hurt us in the points but I am very happy to finish seventh considering the problems we had. This season is something to build on for next year. We are planning on running the same thing next year and hopefully we will find some more sponsorship over the winter. I want to thank my sponsors and crew. They did a great job throughout the whole year. We are so lucky to have Ron and Becky Bennett from NEMO and it is nice to have Rob Grimm as the team owner because he really understands the whole thing. When things get bad, he doesn’t get down. He just wants to find a way to fix it. We have a super group of guys, especially with Rollie as the leader. Hopefully we can come back a little stronger next year.”

LaChance was quick to add, “I think it was a very successful season. It was successful with the first Loudon win and everything after that was a bonus. The second Loudon win was nice because it backed up the first win. It was not just a lucky win. We led the most laps and we had the best car.”

The veteran crew chief is already gearing up for next year saying, “We are going to go after it again next year. It will be similar to this year. There s no big sponsor in place but it is being worked on. We’ll spend the fall trying to organize the structure here and making the tools we have a lot more useful to us. Then we’ll take some time getting the road course and the back-up car done. We are taking the Loudon car to Irwindale.”

Team owner Rob Grimm reflected on the day and the season saying, “ I was not at all surprised we finished fifth after our qualifying effort. I’ve learned that if anyone can get it done, it is these guys. It is nice to end the season on a high note and look forward to next season. I am happy to be in the top ten in points in only our first full year. It is a strong showing. I am looking forward to improving next year. We really learned a lot and we have the guys in place to make it happen.”

NEMO sponsor Becky Bennett shared her enthusiasm after the race saying, “This is absolutely fabulous. It was very exciting. Eddie is a great entertainer and I knew he would do the best he could. This season has been unbelievable and the Loudon wins were the frosting on the cake.”

The team will now focus on improving on last year’s fifth place finish in the Toyota All Star Showdown in Irwindale, California in January.
CW East Race 12  - Fri., September 19th - Sunoco 150

- Dover, DE - 1 mile oval

For the second time this season a faulty fuel pump ended any chance Eddie would post a solid finish in the NASCAR Camping World Series East Sunoco 150 at the Monster Mile. The Grimm Construction Chevy team was geared up for another good run after last week’s win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway but trouble came early on lap eleven resulting in a 20th place finish.

“This is so disappointing that another fuel pump problem put us so far behind all we could do was ride around trying to pick up as many points as possible. We really hate it for our sponsors and fans when we are not competitive. The car was not that great to begin with so we were just staying in position after the green flag hoping it would improve but the pump broke. We had the same thing happen in the Nashville race. It seems this failure is not uncommon with the spec engines,” said a very frustrated Eddie after the race.

“The crew did a great job changing it in the pits. They had it ready to go but on such a fast track, we lost a lot of laps despite their fast work. I can’t say enough about their effort but it is just one of those things that happen but two fuel pump failures is really strange.”

The Monster Mile is a difficult place to make up laps and when Eddie returned to the track seventeen laps down after the pit stop, the Rowley, Mass. driver knew there was not much he could do to get the laps back saying, “When that happened and you lose so much time, we just decided to save the car, stay out of any wrecks, and bring it home in one piece. It makes for a long day for everyone but that’s all you can do. I hate it for the crew, car owner Rob Grimm, and all our sponsors but we will look forward to ending our regular season on a positive note at Stafford.”

The Grimm Chevy was 12th quickest in the first practice (143.632 mph), and then fell to 18th fastest (144.636 mph) in the second practice. Despite improving over three seconds (147.777 mph), Eddie qualified 18th on the starting grid. “ We really struggled with the car right away. It just wasn’t handling well. We made a lot of adjustments in the practices and it got a little better but we couldn’t get the handling we needed to get the speed out of the turns. Dover is such a fast track that if you miss the set-up by just a little bit you lose so much speed. It was just one of those days, I feel bad for our sponsors New England Mechanical Overlay, A+B vending, Hanover Place, Dirlam Lumber Co., Waymart Building Center, and R.B. Fries. Last week everyone was happy but today. That’s racing, ” said Eddie.

The team is currently eighth place in the point’s race and hopes to improve a position or two in the series finale at Stafford Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 28th. The action kicks off Saturday with practice and qualifying.

Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Week

Who Performed the Best In the Clutch This Week?
September 13-14th

Eddie MacDonald

NASCAR Camping World East Series - #71 Grimm Racing

ACT Late Model Tour - #17


CW East Race 11  - Sat., September 13th - Heluva Good! Fall 125

- Loudon, NH - 1.058 mile oval


Passing Steve Park with two to go! Matt Kobyluck is 3rd!

Speed51 Trackside Report HERE   
EastSeries.com Trackside Report HERE

Speed51 Race Story HERE

Photos by
Jamie Williams

Eddie won the Heluva Good Fall 125 after a one-day rain delay at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on a last lap pass to clinch both races at the “Magic Mile” this season. As in the June race, the NEMO/Grimm sponsored Chevy was the dominant car from the green flag in the NASCAR Camping World Series East event.

Eddie started third after qualifying Thursday with a time of 30.190 seconds (126.161 mph) and wasted little time to take the lead on the first lap on the Friday morning start. A planned early pit stop for gas on a lap 18-caution gave up the lead but the Rowley, Mass. driver surged to regain the top spot on lap 38.

“This win is huge for us and the reason is the car was so good right away. After our practice session we were ninth fastest but crew chief Rollie LaChance made the right changes and we qualified well,” said a very pleased driver in Victory Lane. “The car was so fast and handled great in the turns, I was able to work my way back through the field.”

Eddie easily maintained a three to four car length lead on the #1 car with the #55 closing then eventually taking the lead on lap 77. Slipping back to third, Eddie got his wish on caution lap 91.

“I was worried because halfway through, I started getting real tight, then I lost the lead to Leighton. I was hoping Rollie was going to call me in for tires and fuel, When he did, I was worried then because we were a good ways back with not many laps to go. It was a little tight at the end but it really helped us run on the outside. Then it got really good the last ten laps and I could get on the throttle and get a good run down the straight. I was able to pick the cars off one at a time. If we didn’t take tires we were probably a third place car. The tires made all the difference”

On lap 97 Eddie ran fifteenth and by lap 113 moved into fifth place. With seven laps to go the #44 hit the wall, the #55 ran out of gas, and the #4 went to the pits leaving Eddie to chase down the #35 of Steve Park for the win. With the white flag waving, Eddie powered by the #35 to take the checkers for the second win at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

A jubilant driver said afterwards, “This win is just as good as the first one here in June. The first one was awesome because it was our first here and then to come back and do it again means a whole lot to this team. It has really helped us in the points because we had a couple of bad runs with blown engines. Today, everything worked in our favor. Hopefully we can go to Dover next weekend and do it again.”

A smiling Rollie said in Victory Lane, “I was really happy with the car right off the bat. We peaked again to early and I was praying for a caution earlier because I wanted to take tires on. We were just trying to peak again but the tires weren’t the greatest so Eddie had to make up the difference and he did.”

Rob Grimm, owner of Grimm Construction Racing team said of the win, “Unbelievable! It really is to win two in a row at Loudon. This is our biggest event and to win it twice is huge. Rollie called the shots taking tires at the right time and Eddie gets up on the wheel and gets the job done. You can’t ask for anything better than to get it on the last lap and the fans got a good show. We have had a couple of tough weeks so we are looking forward to Dover and Stafford. They have been good tracks for us.”

New England Mechanical Overlay sponsor Ron Bennett shared his feelings saying, “Huge, huge, absolutely huge, I am very happy for Eddie, his family, and the crew. I don’t even know what to say. I am very happy. To do it on the last lap was incredible. He looked good early then went back a little but he did it.”

Eddie summarized the win saying, “ None of this would be possible without Rob Grimm, Ron Bennett, Dirlam Lumber Co., Waymart Building Center, R.B. Fries, my crew, and all the other people who have stepped us to help this team win. This victory is a result of all their support.”

The team pocketed $5,000 for winning the Air Gas fund for the driver with the highest point total for both Camping World Series East races at NHMS. Eddie holds the distinction of winning the first-ever race at the renamed New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June and now adds to the honor as the only successive two-time winner on the Magic Mile.

The Camping World Happy Camper award also went to Eddie, along with the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award for gaining the most positions from the Mansfield race where he finished 21st.

The win at NHMS gave Eddie 190 points, plus ten bonus points to move the team to seventh in the points from eleventh. The NEMO/Grimm Chevy also lead the most laps with sixty of the 125 laps. Eddie, Rollie, and the team won the race with driving and strategy. One New Hampshire paper called the win luck but this win was earned. Eddie started out fast, pitted for fuel on lap 19, pitted twice for fuel and right side tires on lap 91. Eddie had to restart the race in the fifteenth position with only 28 laps to go. Other front-runners chose not to pit for fuel and/or tires and the gamble did not pay off. Even with tires that were not great, Eddie drove inside and outside skillfully to get to the front. The race was won with fantastic driving and excellent pit strategy.

The team now moves on to Dover and the series finale at Stafford that have been good tracks with solid finishes. The team will participate in the prestigious Toyota All Star Challenge in Irwindale, California in January.

EDDIE THIRD IN TIME TRIALS with a strong 30.190 @ 126.151 mph
Pole for Peyton Sellers with a 30.124, 2nd to Steve Park with a 30.177.
Rain on Friday afternoon moves the race to Saturday morning at 10:00 AM.
Photos by
ACT Race 11 - Sat., Sept. 13th - Dodge Dealers 150 - 10th

After sweeping the second Heluva Good race for the Air Gas Championship at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday morning, Eddie, Rollie, and the crew added another championship in clinching the four-race L/A Harley-Davidson Challenge Series title at the Oxford Plains Speedway Saturday night.

The team arrived just in time to race the last chance “B” feature for the New England Dodge Dealers 150 ACT Tour Late Model race. Eddie started last in that one and powered to the front for the win from back in the pack starting position. Eddie moved through the field during the main feature but the tires went away at the end.

Eddie brought the car home in tenth place that was good enough to be crowned the champion of the L/A Harley Davidson Challenge winning the tiebreaker with Oxford regular Shawn Martin. Eddie also collected $2,000 for winning the point fund.
CW East Race 10  - Sat., August 23rd - The Mansfield 150

- Mansfield, OH - 1/2 mile oval


Eddie’s race in the NASCAR Camping World Series East at Mansfield Motorsports Park all but ended early when a loose radiator cap forced him to the pits on lap two for repairs. Another pit stop on lap 27 for more water put the Grimm Construction Chevy three laps down leading to a 21st finish.

A frustrated Eddie said after the race, “ It was a terrible way to start the race. Coming in twice to get the car full really cost us because this is a difficult track to make up laps, especially three laps. We were forced to drive around, stay out of trouble, and hope for the lucky dog. We didn’t get one until late in the race so there wasn’t much we could do.”

The first of the lucky dogs did not come until lap 120 in the Mansfield 150 with the second coming six laps later leaving Eddie one lap down. The Rowley, Mass. driver could not get another pass to put him on the lead lap and the finish was disappointing for the team.

“We had the car set up to be there at the end of the race but with us being three laps down it took too long for us to be eligible for the lucky dog. We needed to get back on the lead lap with about thirty to go but that didn’t happen so we just wanted to stay out there to get as many points as we could,” said Eddie before continuing. “All we can do is learn from this and move on. I’m really disappointed for everyone right now. We had a much better car than we showed tonight. Even qualifying 18th was not that bad because we knew we would be there at the end competing for a top five finish, but unfortunately we never got the chance.”

Team owner Rob Grimm was philosophical after the race saying, “This was a tough one tonight but we brought the car home in good shape and we will be ready to defend at Loudon and run well for the rest of the season.”

The Grimm Construction Chevy won the Camping World Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in June and would like nothing better than to complete the sweep on September 12th.

Eddie summed up his plans for the rest of the season saying, “I am excited about Loudon and Dover as well as Stafford. We won at Loudon in the June race and we usually run well at Dover so hopefully we can turn things around and get back on track to close out the season with some top five runs. I hope to see all our fans at New Hampshire and give them something to cheer about.”

PASS North  - Sun., August 17th - The Toyota Tundra 250

- Wiscasset, ME - .375 mile oval


Passing on sleep for yet another day, Eddie, Rollie and the team headed to Wiscasset Raceway on Sunday, August 17th with a Super Late Model sponsored by Steve Perry's MainelyMotorsportsTV.com for the long distance Toyota Tundra 250.

The action started almost immeditately in Heat 1. With a nudge in the side Eddie was around in turn two and out of the transfer spots. A second place finish to Mike Rowe in Consi #1 moved the #24 to the feature in appropriately enough the 24th starting spot.

Again early action saw the #24 knocked around in turn two as a bunch of cars tangled, several with severe damage. Eddie continued in mid-pack but the car began to suffer vapor lock or an electrical problem and the motor faded away. Eddie pulled into the infield at about the 2/3 mark for a 22nd.


Chris Roy & Norm Marx Photos

CW East Race 9  - Sat., August 16th - The Mohegan Sun 200

- Lime Rock, CT - 1.53 mile road course


A blown engine, rain on Friday, and rain during the race on Saturday made for a long race event.
During the second practice session on Friday, the engine blew, stranding Eddie out on the course.
The motor had also blown on the road course at Watkins Glen in June, so there were worries that the dry sump oiling system in the car might not be right. So team headed back to the shop to grab the car that raced at Lime Rock in 2007 and bring it back on Saturday morning on an open trailer. Rain wiped out the time trials, so the grid was to be set on points. Eddie would start at the back in 32nd due to the swap to the backup car.

The race was marked by a red flag for rain that lasted 75 minutes, a couple of pit road errors by officials, oildowns, and a variety of pit stop strategies. Eddie worked his way up from back, at one point in the top ten as others pitted first. The final result was a solid run to 14th after quite a thrash.
Follow the race day at EASTSERIES.com HERE

Boston Globe Story

Picking up speed
Eddie MacDonald, a winner in racing's minor leagues,
has his sights on the big time
By David Cogger - Globe Correspondent / August 7, 2008


CW East Race 8  - Sat., July 26th - The Edge Hotel 150          

- Beaver Falls, NY - .500 mile oval


Revised Finish: Dillon Dropped To Last

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – NASCAR announced that the unofficial results of Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Series East race at Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y. have been revised due to a rules violations discovered during post-race inspection of the third-place car – the No. 3 driven by Austin Dillon. The car was found to be in violation of Sections 12-4-A (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-Q (car, car parts, components and/or equipment used do not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20C-12.3-S (front shock absorbers would not extend to the specified distance within the specified period of time) of the 2008 NASCAR rule book. The violations were discovered during post race inspection on July 26.The infraction dropped Dillon to 25th in the official race finish. All other drivers in the event moved up one position in the official finishing order.

Eddie’s third place run in the Edge Hotel 150 in the NASCAR Camping World Series East race at Adirondack International Speedway successfully capped off a wild night of racing. Rain delays caused havoc with the set up of the Grimm Construction Chevy from the start but crew chief’s Rollie LaChance’s decision to stay out with thirty laps to go made the difference.

After qualifying ninth (16.766 sec., 107.360 mph), Eddie was able to run in that position until rain brought out the red flag on lap 24. When the race resumed one hour later the #71 was not the same.

“The car was really different after the restart. The rain delay changed the track and the handling of the car. It seemed like everyone was having problems and guys were all over the place. It was pretty rough out there for most of the race. I was able to keep it in the top ten for most of the race but the handling was definitely going away towards the end,” Eddie stated after the checkered flag.

Twelve caution flags for 55 of the 150 laps allowed Eddie to stay near the leaders but the handling became the issue as the race neared the closing laps with him saying, “We slid back to around 15th and I radioed to Rollie that I needed to come in to make an adjustment but he said to stay out because there were only 30 laps left. The plan was to just ride around and miss the wrecks. I had my doubts but things worked out well and we were able to finish fourth. I thought we had third place at the line but we were scored fourth.”

The fourth place run gives the team its fourth top five finish of the season and moves the Grimm Construction Chevy into eighth place in the point’s race. After two disappointing finishes in the last two races at Thompson and Nashville, Eddie is pleased the team is back on track.

“This was a good finish for the team. We really needed this. We have had some great runs this season and it is all because of the crew’s hard work. Team owner Rob Grimm and all our sponsors have been super so it is fun to get this finish. Since our win at Loudon things have not gone our way but tonight we finally had some good luck. The car was not the best but we had a good finish for a change. Sometimes you just have luck on your side and tonight is one of those nights. Hopefully this will continue when we race at Lime Rock in a few weeks.”

Eddie’s best finish on the Lime Rock road course is a sixth place finish and the team hopes to improve with a top five run in the Berkshires on August 16.

>> Previous Race Results HERE <<

Media Contact: Jennifer Mariani - jennifer@eddiemacdonald.com









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