by Jacob Hord, @HordRaceWatcher
Sometimes, it’s just your night. Cole Macedo had one of those nights at Attica Raceway Park, where he scorched the field on his way to a $4,000 payday, his second career win at Attica, and fifth win of the season. This win will let Macedo and Ray Brooks Racing chip into Trey Jacobs points lead with a handful of races remaining.
Macedo started out fast, timing in fastest in his group, which was third overall for the 25 car field. This would be good enough to get him into the feature redraw on time, which was crucial as Macedo would finish fourth after a hard-fought heat race. Macedo redrew third for the 30 lap feature.
It would be Byron Reed and Cole Duncan on the front row as the field took the green flag. Reed would be looking for his second win of the season in Attica, and Duncan looking for Ohio win number 34 since 2017 at a seventh different track. Reed got out to the early advantage with the Cole duo on his coattails. Macedo got around Duncan in turns one and two on lap two and set his sights on the eight-time Attica Champion Reed. A yellow on lap three would put Macedo on Reed’s bumper.
On the restart, Macedo slid Reed in turns three and four; it stuck, and Macedo turned on the afterburners. The lead was .577 seconds going into lap five, and it grew to 2.338 seconds two laps later. A yellow on lap seven for fourth running Stuart Brubaker erased that lead, but got Macedo away from impending lapped traffic. Macedo rocketed out to a 1.229 second led on the restart, and grew that lead to 2.372 seconds by the time he reached lapped traffic on lap 10.
“At the beginning of the race I made some really good decisions, I went in with a game plan to run the bottom for a little bit and pick some guys off before the top got cleaned off. Once I got to second, I went to the top to test it out, and I felt like it was cleaned off enough to run Byron down.”
Macedo was slicing and dicing like a hot knife through butter in heavy lapped traffic- and kept increasing his lead. The California native was just shy of a three second lead on lap 14 when a caution came out for Sean Rayhall. The restart would again put Reed and Duncan on Macedo’s tail, but it would get Macedo back into clean air.
On what would be the final restart, Macedo again jumped out to a sizable lead as Duncan challenged Reed for second. Duncan would claim second from Reed on lap 17. By lap 20, Macedo was back in traffic, and Duncan was taking a good amount of time out of Macedo’s lead. Cue the ‘Jaws’ music. Or not. Duncan ended up slipping off the backstretch the same lap, relegating him to sixth, where he would stay.
With guys like Reed and Duncan behind him on these restarts, a driver has to be darn-near perfect to build a gap like Macedo did.
“Byron is really good at hitting the bottom, and Cole Duncan is really good in the middle, so with those two guys behind me, I was worried for a little bit, but I knew that if I went in there and hit it good in one and two, running it as hard as I possibly could, I knew that I would have a good enough lead.”
Reed inherited second, but Macedo had checked out by over three seconds. In the mean time, Reed, Jacobs, Craig Mintz, and DJ Foos were determining how the rest of the top five would shake out. This allowed Macedo to build up a 4.596 second lead on the white flag lap, and he would cruise to the win. Reed, Jacobs, Mintz and Foos rounded out the top five.
This is a win that was much-needed for Macedo and Ray Brooks Racing, as Murphy’s Law has seemingly been hanging over the team for a little while.
“It’s been tough,” Macedo said, “We’ve had little, dumb things happen to us, things that are out of our control, and some that are in our control. But we learned for the better, got our car right, we’ve all been working really hard and it showed tonight how good we were. Since the back door dropped today, I feel like we’ve been fast.”
Macedo continued: “My car was so good. I could control the pace of the race. On a restart, I would run really hard for five laps to get my gap and get a comfortable lead, and then I would calm down, hit my marks, and not fence the thing. This is probably the most controlled race I’ve ever run in my life. It was awesome.”
Macedo’s night wasn’t over, though. He piloted a Rich Farmer 305 in preparation for Fremont’s Fair Race on Tuesday. Macedo won his heat, and started the 25 lap feature on the front row, before bringing home the car in fifth. Not a bad night’s work.