OXFORD — It may have been a while since he ran a race here, but the famed ‘Outlaw’ from the Bay State sure hasn’t forgotten how to get around Maine’s most famed paved oval.
Two-time Oxford 250 winner Eddie MacDonald won the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) 150 in convincing style Saturday at Oxford Plains Speedway. MacDonald started 11th on the 25-car grid and took the lead from Evan Hallstrom at lap 52.
Jimmy Hebert of Williamstown, Vermont, settled for second, while Hallstrom notched his first career podium finish in third. Max Dolliver, of Londonderry, New Hampshire, and Steuben’s Rowland Robinson completed the top five.
“We’ve had a ton of success here in the past, and it sure feels great to win again at Oxford Plains Speedway,” MacDonald said. “It was definitely a little hard to get through lapped traffic, but the guys worked hard on this thing and we got it done. I have to thank my crew and great sponsors; this is a big weekend to win here.”
Finishing sixth through 10th in the ACT 150 were Rich Dubeau, Shawn Swallow, Mike Ziter, Ryan Morgan and point leader Scott Payea. Six cautions slowed the pace, while MacDonald’s margin of victory was 1.286 seconds. Heat winners were Hebert, Payea and Chip Grenier.
At the drop of the green, Dubeau led the field for three laps before Hallstrom took command. The 16-year-old from Northfield, Vermont, led the field for 47 laps before MacDonald asserted himself.
Unlike most ACT races at Oxford in the past, this one featured carnage and chaos. Grenier was involved in at least a pair of the incidents, while the biggest tangle broke out at lap 97 when several cars came together in Turn 1.
The ACT Late Models typically run three-wide at Oxford, but thanks to a lack of grip that wasn’t the case on Saturday evening. The only driver that could make up serious ground on the outside groove was MacDonald, and it wasn’t easy.
Other notable finishers in the ACT 150 include Matt Anderson (15th), Bryan Mason (16th), Quebec veteran Claude Leclerc (19th), and Massachusetts veteran James ‘Scruffy’ Linardy. The race took one hour and 23 minutes to complete, longer than most thanks to those half-dozen cautions.
The action continues Sunday with the 45th running of the Oxford 250. Qualifying heats for the nation’s richest single-day short track race begin at 1:30 p.m.
Oxford 250 coverage