At 71 years old, MacDonald continues to excel in the sport and just recently set a National Hot Rod Association record in his class during the National Open event at the Miramichi Dragway.
In the SuperStock GTJA division, MacDonald and his 1986 Camaro clocked in at 132.26 miles per hour during one of his quarter-mile runs over the July 28-30 weekend, earning a time of 9.94 seconds.
MacDonald said he felt extremely confident after that particular run and had a hunch he had gotten a record-setting time.
“I knew I had it,” he said.
MacDonald’s car has been racing at mint conditions this summer and he admitted he wasn’t even trying to break the record in Miramichi. Typically, if you’re making an attempt at a record, you loosen your valves and ice your engine beforehand to make it run better, he explained, and you mark an ‘R’ on your window to indicate your intentions. But he didn’t do any of that before his races on Saturday.
He said he believes his car has the capability of going at even higher speeds and is prepared to fight to hold on to his record. Currently, he believes the record he set is “soft” and won’t hold up for long; but he feels he can do the run in 9.7 seconds.
Blair’s wife Marilyn said he has been chasing the NHRA record since he set the IHRA (International Hot Rod Association) record in his class back in 1999.
The two travel throughout the Maritimes and Eastern US during the racing season, taking part in various races, including several National Open events, as members of the Atlantic Canada SuperStock Association.
MacDonald’s love of racing began at an early age, when he was introduced to his first raceway at 14 back in the early 1960s. He started racing when he was 16 (driving other people’s cars for them) and “got bit by the bug.”
“I just loved it,” he said.
He built his first car in 1975, a Bee Stock automatic, and that’s when he began racing more competitively, traveling to various destinations around the Maritimes.
MacDonald said he has always loved the feel of being behind the wheel - and driving at high speeds, of course. A mechanic by trade, he also enjoys working on the cars, and “I love all the friends I’ve made” over the years.
He’s become addicted to the sport, saying it’s like a drug at times; but does admit he may be ready to hang up his racing jacket in the near future if the right buyer comes along for his Camaro.