Performing in the clutch is what seperates a winning driver from the rest of the pack. Flexing muscle at the right time is something that true talents posess. Often luck plays a big role in winning versus losing, but being able to squeeze just enough strength out at the perfect opportunity is what separates winners from losers. Performing in the clutch doesn't necessarily mean winning, however; it's all about making the most from what you've got.
That's why Quarter Master, providers of winning clutches & driveline components to racers from Super Speedway to the Bullring, from IRL to Rally, from NASCAR to the "Weekend Warrior," is proud to honor a weekly "Clutch Performance of the Month" from the short track ranks of America. Each month, an esteemed panel of short track industry insiders will vote on which drivers came through in the clutch. The driver or team with the most votes will then be the "Clutch Performance of the Month." At the end of the 2014 season, the driver or team that received the most votes throughout the season will then be the "Clutch Performer of the Year" and will be awarded a clutch kit from Quarter Master, valued at $3,500. For more on Quarter Master, visit www.quartermasterusa.com
This edition of the "Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Month" goes to ...
Winner: Eddie MacDonald
K&N East: Bristol Motor Speedway (TN)
Some might have figured that Eddie MacDonald's winning days on the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East were over as he started the 2014 season. "Eddie Mac" had not visited victory lane since the 2009 season and was racing against drivers half his age in high-dollar NASCAR equipment. The 33-year-old driver has withstood the test of time and remains the last of the dying breed as a New England driver running in K&N East.
The doubts of whether or not he could still win in the series were silenced on one of NASCAR's biggest stages. Bristol Motor Speedway (TN) was the backdrop for what was an amazing drive and one final restart that got the Massachusetts driver back into victory lane on March 15. MacDonald out-battled Ben Rhodes on the final restart to take the top spot and get his first win in 53 starts.
MacDonald never doubted himself and was clutch on that final restart that was fueled by the long winless streak. Before the day started MacDonald said he was unsure what race day would bring. He knew he had a good car and when a crafty veteran like MacDonald says he has a good ride that could be trouble for the rest of the field. Turns out it was as he was the last man standing.
For winning proving that you don't have to have a NASCAR top-three development program or a multi-car team to win a race at Bristol, the panel of Speed51.com industry insiders has voted Eddie MacDonald as the Quarter Master Clutch Performer of the Month for March.
Here are the drivers who also received votes:
Ben Rhodes (K&N East) - He was the driver that MacDonald beat and he got his revenge by winning his first K&N East race the following week from the pole at Greenville Pickens Speedway (SC) in a clutch performance that just missed.
Daniel Hemric (SLM) - Hemric won the first two PASS South events with two different teams.
Casey Roderick (Southern Super Series) - Dogged a crazy night at South Alabama and held off hard charging drivers Hunter Robbins and Anderson Bowen to capture a big early season win that a great a start to his 2014 season.
Patrick Staropoli (K&N West) - Staropoli is making the most of his opportunity is a limited K&N schedule. He's run well and he turned some heads with his recent victory at Irwindale Speedway in California.
Speed51.com's Quarter Master Clutch Performance of the Month
Which Driver Came Through in the Clutch During March
As voted by Speed51.com industry panel