All-Nighters Pay Off For MacDonald With Stafford Victory by Penny Aicardi
After Some Time Off, He Wins Busch East Series Race
Eddie MacDonald (center) was able to take the win at Stafford, holding off two veterans in Mike Olsen (left) and Matt Kobyluck (right).  (Jim DuPont photos)
There were a whole lot of “ifs” for Eddie MacDonald in his decision to compete in the TSI Harley Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway. If they got the engine in time; if they got that engine in the car; if they could get the car set-up… and so on and so on and so on.

But three sleepless nights and a whole lot of hard work paid off big for his team when MacDonald took the checkers in his first Busch East Series, Grand National Division start this year.
“We had kind of put this car on the backburner because we’ve been running some Late Model races trying to get ready for the (Oxford) 250,” MacDonald said. “We bought (the spec engine) in pieces and brought it to Butler McMaster to have it assembled.

“Everything worked out and we ended up getting it a week ago today. We got it in the car and put it all together. We worked three straight days trying to get the car together. Rollie came down and he took a bunch of days off work, and we got done about six o’clock this morning.”

MacDonald started the race from fifth and took the lead from Connecticut native Matt Kobyluck at lap 70 on a restart. Kobyluck and MacDonald took the green with MacDonald getting a jump by just inches as they came to the line. The caution came out on lap 71 for a spin in turn two.

“I kind of thought that we hadn’t completed the lap, but there’s no arguing with city hall so you have to work with the hand they deal you,” said Kobyluck, who led 38 laps up to that point. NASCAR rules generally line the field up according to the last scored lap. “At the end of the day I don’t think it really changed the outcome, but you just never know.”
The duo lined up for another restart at lap 77 with MacDonald making a convincing drive to the front once again. Kobyluck tried to go under, but MacDonald closed the door. Once out front, MacDonald was able to get some clean air and pull away to a comfortable margin.

“The nose just washed up a lot on restarts and then the back end wanted to come around on the corner, but after that the car was perfect. It stayed the same the whole race and you can’t ask for more than that. It was an awesome race,” said MacDonald.
MacDonald was clearly headed to the checkers when a tangle between point leader Joey Logano and Peyton Sellers tightened the field up once again. MacDonald led Kobyluck, 2006 defending series Champion Mike Olsen, Bryon Chew, and Marc Davis to the green. MacDonald went out front as Kobyluck looked for a way around him on the bottom. On lap 137, Kobyluck went high in turn two giving Olsen the window to drive by for second.

“Matt went into the turn and just slid up and I was just able to drive right by him. I thought I had something for Eddie (MacDonald), but the more laps I ran it seemed to drop off. I had a carburetor problem after I ran so many laps it would start to flutter off the turn,” said Olsen. “I was happy with a second after the week we had. Harry and the guys worked really hard all week to get the car fixed after South Boston. Obviously I would like to win, but I didn’t want to see another restart because that leads to another chance for something to happen. We had a second place car tonight and that’s where we finished.”
The points race got much closer when Joey Logano (#20) spun and got into the wall.
MacDonald won with a victory of nearly one-and-a-half seconds. It was his first win since the New England Dodge Dealers 100 at Thompson International Speedway in October of 2005.

“I was a little worried on the restarts,” MacDonald admitted. “The car took about three laps to get back up to speed so I figured if I could just hold the guys off – Kobyluck and Olsen – for those three laps after the restart I’d be good.
The points had a big shake up with the early departure of Busch Pole Award winner Sean Caisse, who led the first 30 laps but had to pit when the right front lower control arm sheered off the chassis. Caisse loss 35 laps behind the wall before returning to the race.

Logano, who finished 11th, still leads the series in points, but Mike Olsen closed in on him in second only 40 points back. Rogelio Lopez dropped to third after struggling all day. Matt Kobyluck moved up to fourth and Marc Davis is fifth.  

NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series-TSI Harley Davidson 150 at Stafford Motor Speedway, Stafford Springs, CT, Lap length: 0.5 miles

1. (5) Eddie MacDonald, Rowley, Mass., Chevrolet, 150 laps, 61.983 mph, $7,000.
2. (8) Mike Olsen, North Haverhill, N.H., Chevrolet, 150, $3,050.
3. (2) Matt Kobyluck, Uncasville, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $2,250.
4. (9) Marc Davis, Mitchelville, Md., Chevrolet, 150, $2,100.
5. (4) Bryon Chew, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet, 150, $1,600.
6. (13) Jesus Hernandez, Fresno, Calif., Chevrolet, 150, $1,400.
7. (11) Mike Johnson, Salisbury, Mass., Ford, 150, $1,200.
8. (10) Chase Austin, Eudora, Kan., Dodge, 150, $1,100.
9. (22) John Salemi, Nashua, N.H., Chevrolet, 150, $1,000.
10. (15) John Freeman, Huntersville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $925.
11. (6) Joey Logano, Middletown, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $875.
12. (20) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Mooresville, N.C., Chevrolet, 150, $850.
13. (25) Scott Bouley, Wolcott, Conn., Chevrolet, 150, $825.
14. (3) Peyton Sellers, Danville, Va., Chevrolet, 150, $800.
15. (16) Ruben Pardo, Mexico City, Mex., Dodge, 150, $775.
16. (12) Jamie Hayes, Norlina, N.C., Chevrolet, 149, $750.
17. (27) Rogelio Lopez, Mexico City, Mexico, Chevrolet, 149, $725.
18. (18) Jeff Anton, Russell, Mass., Chevrolet, 149, $700.
19. (7) Eric Holmes, Salida, Calif., hevrolet, 149, $675.
20. (24) Dion Ciccarelli, Severn, Md., Chevrolet, 149, $675.
21. (26) Max Dumarey, Gent, Belgium, Chevrolet, 148, $675.
22. (19) Jonathan Smith, Beacon Falls, Conn., Chevrolet, 146, $675.
23. (14) Richard Jarvis, Jr., Ocean City, Md., Chevrolet, 132, fuel pump, $675.
24. (1) Sean Caisse, Pelham, N.H., Chevrolet, 132, $675.
25. (17) Michelle Theriault, Bristol, Conn., Chevrolet, 115, $650.
26. (21) Tim Schendel, Sparta, Wisc., Dodge, 109, brakes, $650.
27. (29) Glenn Sullivan, Westbury, NY, Chevrolet, 90, brakes, $650.
28. (23) German Quiroga, Mexico City, Mex., Chevrolet, 78, rear end, $650.
29. (28) James Pritchard, Jr., Wharton, NJ, Chevrolet, 71, $650.
30. (30) Robert Humphreys, Elbridge, NY, Chevrolet, 53, overheating, $650

Matt Kobyluck (#40) tried to get on on the outside of MacDonald (#48), but couldn't get it done.