Car owner Rollie MacDonald listens to his crew chief and driver during a race earlier this year at Scotia Speedworld. His #13 car can be seen in the background.
©John Musick/for The News
Rollie MacDonald might not have run his final race.
The owner of of King Freight Racing will have regular driver Cassius Clark behind the wheel for this weekend’s Atlantic Cat 250 at Scotia Speedworld, but that doesn’t mean the 73-year Canadian Motorsport Hall of Famer won’t race again this year.
“I might run in Antigonish, the last race of the year,” said MacDonald.
“It’s a littler cooler in September, which is better for an old guy like me. But as long as my car’s winning, I’m fine with that.”
MacDonald wanted to give credit to crew chief Andrew Hicken and the rest of those who work to get his car in race-day shape. “We wouldn’t be doing this without the crew.”
MacDonald raced earlier this year at Riverside International Speedway in James River, but pulled out in the middle of the race because the car wasn’t responding well.
“I was bad, but the car was even worse.”
After getting off to a slow start to the racing season, Clark and his crew have heated up, using a different car to get results they were looking for: they won in Geary, N.B. this summer, posted a win at Scotia Speedworld in July and also had a third-place result in Oxford, Me.
“Those were all the tune-ups for the big races,” said MacDonald, who after the Atlantic Cat 250 plans on entering King Freight Racing in four more events in the 2017 season: two in New Brunswick (Geary and Petitcodiac) in additions to races in Maine and at Riverside, where he finished a race in fourth last year, at age 72.
Fourth place is a pretty good effort, but that doesn’t mean much to MacDonald, who figures he’s won 100 feature races or more (and perhaps another 100 so-called ‘smaller events’) since he started back in the fall of 1964.
“Had a lot of near-wins, too,” he said, “but they don’t really count. Nobody ever remembers who finished second.”
STARTING THEIR ENGINES:
• Approximately 25 teams will battle for their piece of the $60,000 purse and contingency funds and the opportunity to engrave their name on the Scott Fraser Memorial Cup.
• In addition to winning the 18th edition of the Atlantic Cat 250, drivers will also be vying for their piece of the $60,000 purse and lucrative contingency funds, including $6,250 in lap money – for each lap a driver leads, he will receive $25.
• Gates open at 2 p.m. on Saturday with Atlantic Tiltload heat races, which will determine the starting lineup for the Atlantic Cat 250 set for 5 p.m.