NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

July 4, 2014

RUNNING IN THE BIG TIME

Rowley's Eddie MacDonald to race in Sprint Cup at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Eddie MacDonald has spent his whole adult life racing cars, and next weekend he will have the rare opportunity to compete against some of the sport’s top stars at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Next Sunday, the 33-year-old Rowley resident will be competing in the Camping World RV Sales 301 as part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup, the highest level of auto racing in America. The field is expected to include names like Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr., and MacDonald described the opportunity as a dream come true.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to do this,” MacDonald said. “I’ve just got to thank everyone who has helped me throughout my career to get me to this point to give me a shot at running in the big time.”

MacDonald will be racing in the No. 32 Go FAS Racing Ford Fusion owned by Archie St. Hilaire from Old Orchard Beach, Maine, and long-time NASCAR crew chief Frank Stoddard from No. Haverhill, N.H. The car’s primary sponsor will be Mike Alden, president and CEO of Blue Vase Marketing in Beverly, and together the group will comprise an All-New England team, a rarity in NASCAR at the Sprint Cup level.

Over the years, MacDonald has competed in a variety of racing circuits, primarily in the K&N Pro Series as part of the Newburyport-based Robert Grimm Racing Team and in the American Canadian Tour.

He has also competed for St. Hilaire in the Nationwide Series, and with next weekend’s start, he said that he’d become the first Massachusetts driver to ever compete at NHMS at the Sprint Cup level.

In addition to the Sprint Cup race, MacDonald will also be competing in the K&N Pro Series race at NHMS that Friday. Between the K&N Pro Series and the American Canadian Tour, MacDonald has won at NHMS a total of six times. He said he’s optimistic about his chances to win again on Friday, though he acknowledged that his expectations for the Sprint Cup race are a little more measured.

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