MacDonald rolls to Oxford 250 win

By ,
Posted July 19, 2009, at 9:59 p.m.

OXFORD, Maine — Eddie MacDonald has been a regular on the Camping World East series for several years and is currently fourth in points.

In fact, he won both Camping World East series races at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last season.

MacDonald added a win in the TD Banknorth Oxford 250 to his resume on Sunday night as he led the final 81 laps to take the checkered flag by five car-lengths over American-Canadian Tour regular Patrick Laperle of St. Denis, Quebec.

There were 10 cautions in the race, which had 71 entrants. Forty-three cars took the green flag.

Fourteen cars finished on the lead lap.

MacDonald qualified third and ran in the top 10 for virtually the entire race.

He took the lead on lap 169 and used strong restarts to pull away from the pack.

John Donahue of Graniteville, Vt., was third followed by Brian Hoar of Williston, Vt., and Shawn Martin of Frenchville.

Rounding out the top 10 were pole-sitter Brent Dragon of Milton, Vt.; two-time 250 winner Ben Rowe of Turner; Cris Michaud of Montpelier, Vt.; former two-time Camping World East series points champion Brad Leighton of Center Harbor, N.H., and Travis Stearns of Auburn.

“This is awesome. Our two biggest goals are to win at Loudon and win this race. It’s great to get both of them,” said MacDonald. “Our car was right on. It was a little free [loose] at the beginning of the run but we adjusted it and tightened it up.”

“He had the best car,” said Laperle, who posted his best-ever finish at the 250.

Laperle said he wanted to run the top groove to try to catch MacDonald “but my car couldn’t run up there. It was too tight.”

Dragon led virtually the entire first-third of the race with MacDonald interrupting his dominance by leading nine laps.

John Donahue, Laperle and Leighton began closing in on Dragon by lap 70 and Laperle swapped paint with Dragon on lap 80.

Donahue squeezed inside Dragon for the lead on lap 96 and a caution one lap later sent several cars to the pits for fresh tires.

However, the top five cars stayed out and continued to duel for the lead.

The fourth caution occurred on lap 129 and Dragon, MacDonald, Donahue, Laperle and Leighton went to the pits for their tires.

On the restart, Hoar inherited the lead with Joey Polewarczyk Jr., Rowe, Michaud and Shawn Knight rounding out the top five.

Dragon, MacDonald, Donahue, Laperle and Leighton returned to the track within the top 20 and began making their way to the front with the fresher tires.

The 20-year-old Polewarczyk, third in his TD Banknorth 250 debut last year and one of the pre-race favorites, tried to go three-wide on the high groove on lap 135 but slid off the track and went a lap down, ending his chances of winning the 250.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/07/19/sports/macdonald-rolls-to-oxford-250-win/ printed on December 19, 2014