After months of waiting, the time has finally come for race week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and we'll welcome the first RVs and campers this coming holiday weekend. There is nothing quite like sharing the enthusiasm with the fans who are the very first to arrive for NASCAR weekend.
I know I am not supposed to play favorites among the drivers, and normally that is easy for me to do. I am fortunate to have many friends in the NASCR community, and am close to several of the Sprint Cup drivers, their crews and families. But I have a confession: I will quietly cheer on one particular driver when the green flag welcomes the entire field for the Camping World RV Sales 301 on July 13.
Eddie MacDonald may or may not be a name that is familiar to you. If you have followed New England racing, then the MacDonald name is very well known. The Bay State native has won six times at NHMS, logging victories in both the K&N Pro Series East and in the American-Canadian Tour. He is a competitor and a gentleman and next weekend, he will get his first shot at driving in a Sprint Cup Series race.
It couldn't happen to a nicer guy or a harder worker. MacDonald needed to show on-track success in order to earn a shot at a top-tier opportunity. He has done that. But Eddie has won races in a way that can turn any New Englander into a die-hard MacDonald fan. He is tough and aggressive behind the wheel, but he doesn't win at the expense of others. I'm proud of his accomplishments and I'm excited to see how he performs next Sunday.
In the meantime, you may have heard we had a recent visit from two Sprint Cup race teams. Richard Childress Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing shared some track time earlier this week, seeking a competitive edge and working to shave a little off of their lap times.
Last year's July winner, Brian Vickers, along with former NHMS race winners Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, and Jeff Burton all logged several hours on the track, taking notes for the upcoming race.
Also at the test session was young gun Austin Dillon, who took the Number 3 Cup car out onto the track for the first time since the passing of the late Dale Earnhardt Sr. He is hoping to bring that famed number to the Sunoco Victory Lane for the very first time in NHMS history. From what I saw, he has the skills to add his name to our growing list of winners.
And keep track of the "streak": NHMS hasn't seen a repeat winner in 12 straight races. Will 13 be a lucky number for someone or will another new face cross The Granite Stripe first? (Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards and Brad Keselowski are not among those 12, and have combined for seven wins this season.) We'll find out next week.
See you trackside,
|01/22/15||NHMS Spotlight: Nate McShinsky|
|01/20/15||Gappens: The 25th Anniversary Celebration|
|11/19/14||NHMS Employee Spotlight: Debbie Ridley|
|11/18/14||Gappens: Harvick Wins Exciting Format|
|10/28/14||Best NHMS Quotes of 2014|
|10/28/14||NHMS Spotlight: Tom Blanchette|