How many race fans who have passed the third-of-a-century mark can remember what they were doing a few days after their 34th birthday? Eddie MacDonald won’t ever have any trouble with that one. The Rowley, Mass., racer, best known for his exploits in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series and on the American Canadian Tour, plans to compete in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Camping World RV Sales 301 at NHMS.
Admittedly, participate is perhaps a more accurate term than compete. MacDonald will pilot the No. 32 GoFAS Racing Ford Fusion for New Englanders Archie St. Hilaire and Frank Stoddard, with sponsorship support from Blue Vase Marketing of Beverly, Mass. The entry is a ways down the NASCAR food chain of Sprint Cup superiority, but if anyone can hold up his end of the deal, it’s probably MacDonald, who has plenty of experience on the Loudon mile to go with obvious talent.
“We’ll be high-fiving over a top-25 finish,” St Hilaire said. “I know a Sprint Cup start is an honor for Eddie. I couldn’t be happier for him and our team. We were able to get the OK from NASCAR credentials committee chairman Brett Bodine because of Eddie’s demonstrated ability in the K&N Pro Series and his accomplishments in multiple divisions at NHMS.”
“This is a dream come true,” MacDonald said. “I can’t thank Archie, Frank and Mike (Alden of Blue Vase) enough. They made it all happen. It’s exciting for all of us. We have a realistic outlook about it. I’d like to stay out of trouble and have a respectable run. I got to talk with Roush Racing’s Nationwide driver, Chris Buescher, who tested the car here, but the real test comes when you’re out there. You’ve got to learn some things on your own.”
Should MacDonald qualify for the 43-car field, he’ll hold the distinction of having competed at NHMS in all three NASCAR national series, the K&N circuit and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour.
Cup qualifying begins Friday at 4:40 p.m. with the Granite State 100 for K&N Pro Series East teams to follow.
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TONIGHT at Thunder Road, Sprint Cup driver Clint Bowyer will strap into Richard Green’s No. 16 ACT Late Model and duke it out in the VP Small Engine Fuels Governor’s Cup 150. Last year, Bowyer was pretty competitive to a point, but he stayed way down on the bottom, rumble strips and all, to pass cars with plenty of contact resulting. He got some feedback that many consider the admirable way to work traffic at the Road is to go up to the high side and let it all hang out ... Richard Savary started 14th and took the lead from Chris Pasteryak with five laps left to win the Valenti Modified Series Firecracker 100 before a big crowd at Monadnock last Saturday. Justin Bonsignore, Rowan Pennink and local favorite Russ Hersey were 3-4-5.
Monadnock is taking this weekend off. The next VMS Modified race is Friday, July 18 at Stafford.Joey Doiron of Berwick, Me., drove to his first PASS Super Late Model Series win of the year at Beech Ridge. Doiron got the better of a fellow Maineiac, 20-year-old Austin Theriault, who was coming off an ARCA Series win at Michigan International.
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LEE USA, which spent last Friday on Hurricane Arthur watch, gives it another go tomorrow night. Lee’s Ironman 6-cylinder division, which is looking like it might stick as a weekly division after some growing pains, is currently led by Adam Knowles of Seabrook.
Ken Schrader will drive a Bobby Seymour USAC Midget on the clay at Bear Ridge Saturday — but will the former NASCAR star be able to pass Adam Pierson? The local hotshot leads the DMA Midget standings and has proven very difficult to beat at the Ridge, just like Piermont’s Chris Donnelly, who won another Modified feature last weekend.
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IF YOU have lots of windshield washer fluid and you’re into time travel, back to say 1962, head northwest from Loudon after the Whelen Modified Tour race Saturday to Bradford, Vt., and see if Schrader’s got anything left. Heats start at 6 p.m.
The Sportsman coupes are practically worth the trip themselves. An anonymous benefactor began a bonus fund for any Sportsman chauffeur who could win a no-cautions feature and after many tries and a progressively larger pot, hometown hero Billy Simmons pocketed an extra $450 by winning last week.
On Sunday, Londonderry High School student Max Dolliver won his second Roadrunner main event at Hudson Speedway.
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TWIN STATE Speedway in Claremont races Friday night this week in deference to Cup Weekend.Travis Fadden of North Haverhill — are you listening, Frankie Stoddard? — goes for another Late Model victory Saturday at White Mountain. Fadden won last week’s 100-lapper.
Tom Herzig’s column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.