OXFORD – When Eddie MacDonald gets a lead in a race at Oxford Plains Speedway, apparently there is no way of catching him.

MacDonald, a 30-year-old driver from Rowley, Mass., won the TD Bank 250 last July, leading the final 82 laps.

Sunday afternoon, MacDonald led the final 96 laps of the American-Canadian Tour’s Big Jab 150 — the season opener at Oxford Plains.

“The car handled awesome,” MacDonald said. “The car was just unbelievable. I was just barely touching the throttle, and I was just cruising there for a while.”

It was MacDonald’s third win at Oxford Plains, but he didn’t cruise to victory. He had to hold off several challenges over the last 56 laps from Tommy Ricker, an OPS Late Model competitor from Poland.

“Toward the end, I just had to give it everything I had,” MacDonald said. “Tommy was really coming.”

“Toward the end of it, I worked so hard trying to catch Eddie that I didn’t have enough to go after him,” said Ricker, who finished second. “I gave it every shot I could.”

The caution flag came out just once during the Late Model event, which featured some of the top drivers from Northern New England and Canada.

On the restart following that caution, MacDonald passed Aus- tin Theriault to move into the lead for good on the 54th lap.

Theriault, a 16-year-old ACT rookie from Fort Kent who was making his second start in a tour event, held the lead for 28 laps after passing Brian Hoar, who led the first 26 laps.

Hoar, of Williston, Vt., placed third, giving him a pair of top-three finishes in the first two ACT events this year.

Theriault, a high school sophomore, finished 16th.

MacDonald, a regular on NASCAR’s K&N Pro Series East, didn’t run into lapped traffic until the 98th lap.

“It was nice to be able to run for a while and make sure I had a few cars between me and second place,” he said.

Rounding out the top 10 were John Donahue of Williston, Vt.; Tim Brackett of Buckfield; Travis Adams of Canton; Scott Payea of Milton, Vt.; Brent Dragon of Milton, Vt.; Jeff White of Winthrop and T.J. Brackett of Buckfield.

Bradley Babb, a 17-year-old ACT rookie from Windham, finished 12th in the 33-car field.

Other Maine finishers included Scott Luce of Strong, 13th; Corey Morgan of Lewiston, 17th; Travis Stearns of Auburn, 21st; Ricky Rolfe of Albany Township, 22nd; T.J. Watson of Cundy’s Harbor, 23rd; Ben Ashline of Pittston, 24th; Dennis Spencer Jr. of Oxford, 26th; Shawn Martin of Turner, 27th; and Gerry Chasin of Peru, 29th.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: [email protected]