2008 Race Stories and Photos
July 26th to December
FULL STORY HERE
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
Without further ado, the "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of
the Year" for the 2008 season goes to ...
NASCAR Camping World East Series
- #71 Grimm Racing Chevrolet
and ACT Late Model Tour - #17 Pontiac
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
East Race 13 - Sun., October 12th - CARQUEST Fall Final 150
- Stafford Springs, CT - .500 mile oval
FIFTH PLACE FINISH AT STAFFORD
COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL SEASON
|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
East Race 12 - Fri., September 19th - Sunoco 150
- Dover, DE - 1 mile oval
MECHANICAL PROBLEM RUINS EDDIE’S RUN AT DOVER
|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
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.
Master Clutch Performance of the Week
Who Performed the Best In the Clutch This Week?
NASCAR Camping World East Series - #71 Grimm Racing
East Race 11 - Sat., September 13th - Heluva Good! Fall 125
- Loudon, NH - 1.058 mile oval
EDDIE WINS AGAIN!
Passing Steve Park with two to go! Matt Kobyluck is 3rd!
Speed51 Trackside Report HERE
EastSeries.com Trackside Report HERE
Speed51 Race Story HERE
EDDIE COMPLETES SWEEP OF HELUVA GOOD SERIES AT
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
SPEED51 TRACKSIDE REPORT HERE
GREEN-WHITE-CHECKER STORY HERE
11 - Sat., Sept. 13th - Dodge Dealers 150
SATURDAY FOR EDDIE WITH ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP
|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.
East Race 10 - Sat., August 23rd -
The Mansfield 150
- Mansfield, OH - 1/2 mile oval
LOOSE CAP RUINS
EDDIE’S RUN AT MANSFIELD - 21st
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
- Sun., August 17th -
The Toyota Tundra 250
- Wiscasset, ME - .375 mile oval
EDDIE IN A SUPER LATE MODEL FOR THE TUNDRA 250 - 22ND
|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
MainelyMotorsportsTV.com for the long distance Toyota Tundra
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.
East Race 9 - Sat., August 16th -
The Mohegan Sun 200
- Lime Rock, CT - 1.53 mile road course
EDDIE RACES TO 14TH IN A BACKUP CAR
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
Eddie MacDonald, a winner in racing's minor leagues,
has his sights on the big time
David Cogger - Globe Correspondent
/ August 7, 2008
FULL STORY HERE
East Race 8 - Sat., July 26th -
The Edge Hotel 150
- Beaver Falls, NY - .500 mile oval
RACE CHARGE PUSHES EDDIE TO THIRD AT ADIRONDACK
Revised Finish: Dillon Dropped
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
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
Previous Race Results HERE <<