Eddie MacDonald did what he needed to do at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The Rowley, Mass., native drove the No. 71 Grimm Construction Chevrolet to the win at the 'Magic Mile.' It was his third win at his home track in the last four races there, and was just about the best he could have done.
Unfortunately for MacDonald, the driver he's chasing in the NASCAR Camping World Series East points race, Ryan Truex, brought his No. 00 NAPA Toyota home in third.
So while MacDonald was able to slice 20 points off the lead, Truex still brings a 30-point cushion into Friday's season finale, the Sunoco 150 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
Over the previous two seasons, the 'Monster Mile' has crowned two first-time NASCAR champions—Joey Logano in 2007 and Matt Kobyluck in 2008. Truex and MacDonald guarantee that trend will continue.
By starting the race, they will eliminate all but third-place Joey Lavender from the championship race. Lavender needs to win or finish second and lead the most laps, and hope both Truex and MacDonald finish in the back of the field to lay claim to the title.
Truex can win the championship by finishing fourth or better, by finishing fifth or better and leading a lap, or by finishing sixth or better and leading the most laps.
The 17-year-old development driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, has finished third or better in each of the last seven races, including three victories.
Dover holds a special meaning for Truex, who is from nearby Mayetta, N.J. His older brother, Martin Truex Jr., won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the one-mile high banked oval.
The series practices Thursday with qualifying set to take place Friday in advance of the green flag for the Sunoco 150, which is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.