During the weekend of the Autotown 150 at Lee USA Speedway, the list of drivers registered to compete for the Busch North Series Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Award increased from five to nine. Among the new contenders was Eddie MacDonald of...
During the weekend of the Autotown 150 at Lee USA Speedway, the list of drivers registered to compete for the Busch North Series Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Year Award increased from five to nine. Among the new contenders was Eddie MacDonald of Rowley, Mass., who finished eighth in the Autotown 150 and won the $1,000 Raybestos Rookie-of-the-Race honor, as well as taking the early lead in the season-long standings.
MacDonald, 21, qualified 17th for his first Busch North Series event and ran a fast and trouble-free race to finish on the lead lap. It made a successful day complete for Red and Judy MacDonald, Eddie's parents and the owners and operators of Lee USA Speedway.
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Brian Hoar, Tommy Beamer, Joey McCarthy, Doug Hurst, and Roger Raymond completed the rookie qualifiers for the Autotown 150. Registered rookies Travis Benjamin, Carey Heath, and Gord Bennett did not qualify.
Among the newly-registered rookies, Beamer, 19, of Williamstown, N.J., started 30th and last in the Autotown 150 and finished 20th, the second best position improvement in the race. Beamer competed in four Busch North Series races last year after racing in the modified division at the Mahoning Valley Speedway in Lehighton, Pa.
Hurst, 44, of Rockland, Mass., is a former drag racer who made three BNS appearances in 2000. Like many New England racers, he plays ice hocket recreationally in the off-season. He also works with the Dana Farber, Massachusetts General, and UMass Memorial blood donor centers to set up blood drives in conjunction with Busch North Series races.
Roger Raymond of Bernardston, Mass., has been racing on the short tracks of northern New England since 1960, and is currently the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series champion of the Monadnock Raceway in Winchester, N.H. His resume over 41 years of racing shows 55 feature wins, four track championships, and nine most popular driver awards.
Raymond brings another famous name back to the Busch North Series: his sponsor, Stewart & Sons Ford of Cuttingsville, Vt., was prominent on Dave Dion's cars in the 1970's and 1980's. Raymond will drive the short track portion of the Busch North Series schdule with the Wall's Ford team, for which his son, Chris Raymond, is crew chief.
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Ted Christopher's 10-race Busch North Series program will benefit from the experience of veteran modified and ARCA car owner and crew chief Ralph Solhem. While Solhem and his long-time driver, Ed Kennedy, cut back their modified efforts in 2001, Solhem will turn the wrenches for "TC", who has acquired the equipment he drove last year under the ownership of Randy LaJoie, including a victory at Stafford Motor Speedway. The LesCare Kitchens Chevrolets will again carry Christopher's familiar number 13.
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Dale Quarterley and his Land O Lakes racing team have teamed up with the Cam Neely Foundation to donate ten percent of their race purses in 2001 to the Neely House art New England Medical Center in Boston. The Neely House, established by former Boston Bruins star Cam Neely, provides housing and supprt for the dfamiles o patients at the center. As part of the program, Quarterley's distinctive yellow Chevrolet will be displayed at the center, and Land O Lakes will provide ticket and hospitality packages to families staying at the Neely House for several "host family events" in the Busch North Series.