DOVER, DE — Eddie MacDonald and Grimm Racing had a tire puncture deflate their hopes of a good finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East.
The Waymart-based team traveled to Dover (DE) to compete in the American Real TV 150 at Dover International Speedway.
After qualifying at a speed of 151.178 mph in 13th position, MacDonald was holding his own in the early stages of the race on the quick 1 mile concrete oval known as The Monster Mile.
Chase Elliott hit the wall hard in Turn 4 on Lap 27, bringing out the first caution of the race. The race leader under caution was Darrell Wallace Jr. with Eddie MacDonald lining up in 14th.
On the restart, MacDonald was off the pace and headed to pit road with a flat tire, but upon entering the pit, a caution came out for a car that hit the Turn 4 wall.
By the time the dust settled and the Grimm Racing crew changed the tire, MacDonald was down two laps on the leaders.
It wasn't until caution number 6 on Lap 73 that MacDonald was the beneficiary of a free pass which put him only one lap down.
The midway break of the race was flagged on Lap 76 with all cars coming to the pit for a 10 minute "tune up". As the cars came out on to the track for the second half of the race, MacDonald was scored in 20th position and the only car one lap down.
During the second half of the race, MacDonald was able to scratch his way up to finish in 11th place.
This is the first time he has finished out of the top 10 and off the lead lap since crashing out of the race at Bristol in March. While MacDonald was trying to salvage a good finish, the leaders were putting on quite a show up front.
Corey LaJoie, Brandon McReynolds, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Kyle Larson were challenging for the lead.
LaJoie and McReynolds touched and banged each other for the lead on Lap 147. A caution flag slowed the field, but LaJoie was dragging his car's rear bumper cover from the contact.
The wave around car of Brandon Gdovic did LaJoie a favor on his way around by knocking the rear bumper cover off of LaJoie's car, avoiding LaJoie, the race leader, from receiving the black flag to pit and have it taken off by his crew and lose the lead of the race.
A green-white-checkered finish set up another exciting finish, as LaJoie won his fourth race of the season in the last eight races. Wallace, McReynolds, Ben Kennedy, and Larson rounded out the top five.
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The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East has one of the best season championship point battles in all of racing with just two more events on the schedule.
Brett Moffitt entered Dover as the point leader, but an 18th place finish knocked him back to 3rd in the points.
Kyle Larson took over the point lead by one point over Corey LaJoie. Third place Moffitt is 8 points out of first. Fourth is Chase Elliott.
In fifth place is Brian Ortiz with Eddie MacDonald in sixth, just six points behind Ortiz.
MacDonald is seven points ahead of seventh place Gdovic, 13 points behind is Wallace in eighth, and 16 points in arrears is Kennedy. Sergio Pena rounds out the top 10.
The next K&N Pro Series race is October 27 at Greenville (S.C.) Pickens Speedway with the final event one week later at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway on November 3.