Joey McCarthy's ninth place finish in Saturday night's Waterford 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race, was his fifth top-ten finish of the season. It was remarkable in that it came after a lap 106 accident left McCarthy's...
Joey McCarthy's ninth place finish in Saturday night's Waterford 150, a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race, was his fifth top-ten finish of the season. It was remarkable in that it came after a lap 106 accident left McCarthy's TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet with heavy damage. The car was damaged badly enough that it looked as if it might have to be retired from the event, but the J.T. Mase MotorSports crew wouldn't let that happen, and not only repaired the car, but kept it on the lead lap so McCarthy could get that top-ten finish.
McCarthy was impressive in the afternoon practice session. He was third fastest in a field of 25 cars. In qualifying, he posted the seventh fastest time with a fast lap of 15.144 seconds (79.239 MPH) around the one-third mile oval.
Settling into seventh at the start of the race, McCarthy took over sixth place at the one third-distance mark. He raced Byron Chew for fifth after halfway, but found lapped traffic uncooperative and fell back to a side-by-side battle with Bobby Dragon. He worked his way back to fifth as lap 100 of 150 went on the boards, but things would quickly take a turn for the worse.
Mark Durgin slid off the frontstretch through the grass into turn one, littering the track with gravel and other debris. McCarthy went into turn one and spun, striking the outside wall with the car's rear end. The damage was significant, as the decklid was dragging on the ground under the back bumper, and sheet metal damage all the way around.
Coming to the pits under caution, the crew set about for repairing the car. With duct tape and hammers, the body was returned to something close to its original shape, and the deck lid reattached. McCarthy remained on the lead lap, and returned to the battle. Despite the damage, the car was still competitive and the driver was working hard to salvage a good finish. He worked his way into the top ten, finishing ninth by picking up a position on the final lap.
"The TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet was really running well, we had a top-three car," he said after the race. "We were just biding our time in what was a really hectic race. I just got into something going into the first turn. The car came around and backed into the wall. I'm just thankful that I have a great team and a great pit crew that got me back out there to salvage a top ten finish.
"I feel really bad for the team, they worked really hard and deserved a lot better than where we finished, and have to fix a wrecked race car," McCarthy continued. "But I guess nights like this build character, and we'll move on to next week. I just feel really bad for the team, but they did a great job. It just shows the character of the team that we're still able to finish in the top ten. I feel awful that this happened, but hopefully I can make it up to them next week."
McCarthy will return to the track in next Saturday's Budweiser 150, which was originally scheduled for late May but rained out and rescheduled for August 2nd.