Tom Herzig's Trackside: MacDonald is gearing up for double duty at NHMS
Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass. — son of Lee USA Speedway owners Red and Judy MacDonald — is gearing up for double duty Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Round one for MacDonald a.k.a "The Outlaw" will be at the wheel of the Grimm Construction/National MS Society No. 71 Toyota in the K&N Pro Series East North American Power 100. From there he'll hop into the New England Mechanical Overlay/Grimm Construction No. 17 and compete in the Bond Auto Parts ACT Invitational 50. This is the Fifth annual ACT Invitational on the Magic Mile. MacDonald is a two-time winner of the event.
MacDonald picked up the nickname "Outlaw" back in the days when he ran the NASCAR Busch North circuit as well as Late Model events at Lee USA and selective races on the American Canadian Tour. At 33, he has to feel a little like Willie Nelson competing on the K&N circuit. Points leader Dylan Kwasniewski of Las Vegas hadn't been born when MacDonald began his career in a Hobby Stock at Lee. Kwasniewski won his second in a row Labor Day weekend at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. MacDonald was fourth after Daniel Suarez and Gray Gaulding. Suarez is a ripe old 21 years of age. Gaulding recently turned 15. Do you suppose they call the Outlaw "sir" when they cross paths in the pits?
In five ACT starts, MacDonald has a win (Beech Ridge), a second (Star) and a third (Airborne). The Star event and the 300 at Airborne were won by Joey Polewarczyk Jr. Joey Pole is one of 11 New Hampshire drivers invited to the dance. The others are ACT point leader and defending champion Wayne Helliwell Jr., Luke Hinkley, Jamie Aube, Todd Davis, Kyle Welch, Aaron Fellows, Matt Anderson, Quinny Welch, Guy Caron and 16-year-old Taylor Martin of Windham.
Martin, like MacDonald, has her helmet in more than one ring. She will also compete in the Gifford's Ice Cream 25 for the Granite State Legends Car Series. She will be the youngest driver to compete in both events and the first female driver to race in a pair of invitation-only events at New Hampshire.
ACT recently announced that the 50-lap Invitational is going to pay $7,500 to win and that Nick Sweet — having just clinched the Vermont Late Model championship with a win at Devil's Bowl has accepted an offer to replace Canadian Donald Theetge in the field.
The Granite State Pro Stock Series brought down the curtain at Canaan Asphalt. Polewarczyk, not to be outdone by Helliwell, who won a GSPSS race the week before, led most of the final 50 laps, after a ragged first half. Jeremy Davis and Mike Parks were second and third.
Ryan Preece dominated the Valenti Modified Series 80 at Stafford Speedway. Chris Pasteryak and George Savary completed the podium finish. Preece was the most recent winner on the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour at Riverhead Raceway on Long Island.
Defending Whelen Modified champion Doug Coby of Milford, Conn., was 14th at Riverhead. He trails Preece, 453-408, with three races remaining. Rowan Pennink sits third another 28 points back. Coby is seeking to become the first driver since Ted Christopher in 2004-05 to win three races in a row at NHMS.
Austin Theriault of Fort Kent, Maine, won the PASS 300 at Beech Ridge. DJ Shaw of Center Conway was the runner-up.Jacob Dore of Sanford, Maine, won the Star Speedway Modified championship Saturday night.
Two Riverside Speedway championships were still undecided last weekend as the white flag was being waved. Bryan Mason rebounded from a mandatory trip to the pits to deal with flapping sheet metal to finish sixth — two spots behind brother Corey, who was trying to claim the title himself — to win the Late Model crown. In the Limited Late Model title fight, Doug Laleme of Bethlehem took the checkers in a wild finish to best Chandler Davis (third) and earn the track championship.
Bill Kimball of Bennington finished second in the Sportsman Modified feature at Monadnock to Tyler Jarvenpaa's eighth, making Kimball the 2013 Sportsman Modified champ. Ed Brehio won the Super Street main and the title. Beth Kimball of North Swanzey clinched the Mini Stock title.
You might be a redneck if you hop over to Bear Ridge Saturday night after the ACT Invitational and take in the USAC Dirt Midgets and the Sprint Cars of New England.
Tom Herzig's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.