Following the best season of his NASCAR Camping World Series East career, Eddie MacDonald will look to carry his momentum to the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, Jan. 29-30, in Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.).
MacDonald, from Rowley, Mass., finished the 2009 campaign just 34 points behind Camping World Series East Champion Ryan Truex in the final standings. A win in the September race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway – which clinched MacDonald a starting spot in the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown – highlighted a season in which he registered a series-high 10 top-10 finishes, and earned the first two Coors Light Pole Awards of his career.
The runner-up finish was his best in the nine years in the series.
“We had hoped for more wins this year, but we were just trying to get more consistent,” MacDonald said. “I was real happy with how everything went in 2009. It was a great season.”
The seventh running of the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown, which brings together the top racers from across North America for the ”Daytona 500 of short-track racing,” will be highlighted by the 225-lap Camping World Series all-star race. Each race winner during the 2009 Camping World Series East and West seasons is eligible for a protected starting spot, as are the 2009 champions from each of NASCAR’s six regional touring series and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion.
MacDonald joins Camping World Series champions Ryan Truex (East) and Jason Bowles (West), as well as two-time Showdown winner Matt Kobyluck, Camping World Series East driver Steve Park and Greg Pursley from the Camping World Series West as early confirmed participants in the all-star race.
MacDonald has participated in five of the first six NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdowns, with two top 10s, including a best finish of fifth in 2007.
“There’s no other racing going on for us anywhere, so it’s kind of nice to break up the middle of the winter by going out there,” said MacDonald, who has failed to finish the race three times, including last year when he was caught up in an accident and finished 27th. “We’ve got to find a way to get through the first segment and be fast for the last 50 laps and trying to get a win rather than be in the infield.”
MacDonald hasn’t had all bad luck there, but his team is looking forward to the 2010 edition as an opportunity to get a better handle on the track.
“It’s a fun track, it’s just a little different for to get a consistent set-up, for us anyway,” MacDonald said. “We’ve got a couple different ideas we’re really looking forward to trying, so hopefully we’ll unload off the trailer and be fast enough to just fine tune on it, and have a good race.”
In addition to eligible 2009 race winners and series champions, the starting lineup will be determined through time trials, limited provisionals for Camping World Series regulars, and the last-chance "Open" race that provides drivers one final chance to make the grid.
The 2010 NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown schedule also includes 100-lap Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model and 75-lap Late Model races. Both nights of racing will air live on SPEED.