Joey McCarthy's eleventh place finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway appears to be a decent finish by a good driver on a short track. What the finish doesn't show is that...
Joey McCarthy's eleventh place finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race at Beech Ridge Motor Speedway appears to be a decent finish by a good driver on a short track. What the finish doesn't show is that McCarthy had a top-ten car, perhaps even a top-five car, but a late-race accident forced him to pit late and salvage that eleventh place finish.
In the two afternoon practice sessions, McCarthy's TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet was impressive, being fifth fastest in the first session and fourth best in the second. In time trials, he was ninth fastest.
Before ten laps were in the race's books, McCarthy was up to sixth place and pressing hard to move up further. He got to fifth before thirty laps were run, though he dropped to sixth following a lap 37 restart. A long green-flag run began at that point and McCarthy put on some of the best racing on the track as he battled with defending series champion Andy Santerre.
Running seventh when caution came out on lap 121, McCarthy joined a handful of top-ten cars on pit road for fresh right-side tires. He returned to the track in twelfth, but with better tires than those ahead of him. Despite this, heavy race traffic prevented him from moving up further, and caused a spin ahead of him with just six laps to go. McCarthy was unable to avoid the spun car, and ran into its right front corner. He pitted to have sheet metal repaired, and returned to the race to finish it. He wound up eleventh after taking the last restart in thirteenth.
"It's typical short track racing," he said after the race. "Nobody's got any respect for each other, especially right now. We just got caught up in somebody else's mess. It's a shame, the guys work hard all week and we keep trying to come to these races with a good car. I drove a clean race all night, stayed out of trouble and just got into someone else's problem. But we'll fix the car and go to Thunder Road next week and hope for the best there."
McCarthy had words of praise for his J.T. Mase MotorSports team.
"The guys worked hard all day, because we didn't have the best car," he said. "After thirty laps it really started to fall off. But we had track position and we could hold our own where we were. We decided to take tires and I thought it was a great call. We started passing cars on the outside, we picked up four spots from the drop of the green. If we had a clear lane out there, we would have passed even more guys, but then we got involved in somebody else's mess. There was so much smoke and dust that I couldn't even see the car in front of me spinning and I drove right into his door."
McCarthy has one more short track race to run as the Busch North Series heads towards its conclusion, and will run it this Saturday night at the quarter-mile Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre, Vermont.