OXFORD, Me. -- Eddie MacDonald is considered the man to beat every time he races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and with four wins there since 2008 he’s earned that recognition. After his American-Canadian Tour victory on Sunday, the same could be said about him at Maine’s Oxford Plains Speedway.
MacDonald’s first ACT Late Model Tour win came at the 3/8-mile oval in 2007, and he won the TD Bank Oxford 250, one of the country’s most prestigious short track events, last year. Sunday, he led the final 96 laps of the WJAB 150 and held off regular Oxford competitor Tommy Ricker en route to another win.
“This is just awesome,” said MacDonald, of Rowley, Mass. “It’s our first run out with the car [since] we changed a bunch of things over from last year and upgraded a few things, and just everything paid off.”
MacDonald, a top driver on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, gave all the credit to his team and crew chief Rollie LaChance. “Rollie got the car just handling awesome. We were tweaking on little things all day long, but as soon as we unloaded the car it was pretty good. The crew did an awesome job.”
MacDonald took the lead from rookie Austin Theriault on lap 54 and held a comfortable lead until Ricker caught him with 30 circuits remaining. Ricker reeled MacDonald in as they sliced through lapped traffic, and made two attempts to take the lead during the closing laps. His car broke loose several times, though, the result of worn out tires.
For Ricker, who had yet to even finish an ACT event, it was a career day.
“This is terrific. I’ve never been more excited [except] getting into the 250 I think,” Ricker beamed. “I think I wore the tires out trying to get to Eddie. I should have been a little more patient. Eddie’s a close friend and I enjoy racing with him. It would have been a great thrill to beat him if I could have, I just worked too hard at it.”
“I am so happy for Tommy, he did an awesome job,” said MacDonald.
Defending ACT champion Brian Hoar of Williston finished in third place after leading the first 25 laps. Graniteville’s John Donahue drove from 31st at the start to finish fourth, with former Oxford Plains Speedway champion Tim Brackett fifth. Travis Adams, Scott Payea, Brent Dragon, Jeff White, and T.J. Brackett completed the unofficial top-ten.
Only one caution period slowed the event on lap 54, and all but four of the 33 starters were running at the finish. 53 cars attempted to qualify. The next ACT event is at Lee USA Speedway on June 11.
For the win, MacDonald earned an invitation to compete at the second annual ACT Invitational at New Hampshire in September – an event he won last year.