NASCAR BNS: Joey McCarthy Returns To Toyota Showdown In Hopes Of Finishing What He Started Last Year (W. Berlin, N.J. - Nov. 7, 2004) - Joey McCarthy certainly made a name for himself in the world of NASCAR Grand National Division racing...
NASCAR BNS: Joey McCarthy Returns To Toyota Showdown In Hopes Of Finishing What He Started Last Year
(W. Berlin, N.J. - Nov. 7, 2004) - Joey McCarthy certainly made a name for himself in the world of NASCAR Grand National Division racing last year when he wound up leading over 100 laps in Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown competition.
He dominated his qualifying race, started on the pole for the feature event and led the first 100 laps. After the top six competitors were inverted and pit stops completed, though, McCarthy could not return to the lead and wound up finishing seventh.
"After that race, I think I've gained a lot of respect for my talent level by the entire racing community to the point where my name's mentioned here and there. People know who I am after that race. It was a great opportunity to go out there and to run as well as we did in such a hyped-up event," The Randolph, N.J. said.
Following the 2003 season, McCarthy's team folded and he was left scrambling for a ride for the 2004 Busch North Series season. He hooked up with Glenn Rudolph's STI Motorsports team and picked up a handful of small sponsors that allowed him to compete the entire 13-race schedule, finishing the year eighth in points with three top-five finishes. Helping the end-of-season push was sponsor TRIMSPA renewing its relationship with McCarthy, allowing him to run the three final BNS races and get to the 2004 edition of the Showdown.
"Just getting our act together to get on the track this year has been pretty stressful, but I had a lot of great people help me get to this point," McCarthy said. "Tech Air, RV Tech, Vespia's Car Care Center, Organized Chaos Graphics, and then TRIMSPA came back on at the end of the year and really gave us the push we needed to finish up the season."
McCarthy's had plenty of time to think and re-think the end of last year's Showdown, and he's got plans for what he'll do if he winds up in a similar position in the November 13th race.
"If we go back and I get myself into the position where I can go out and lead a bunch of laps even though I know there will be an inversion coming, I'm going to do it," he said. "The biggest change in strategy will be during the pit stop at lap 100 and what we will do with tires and possibly other adjustments. What threw us for a loop last year was the car, at the start of the race on new tires, was totally different from what it was like when we put new tires on for the finish of the race. It reacted a lot differently. We were still fast, but we weren't as fast as we could have been to work in traffic a little bit more. I think my pit strategy itself as far as adjustments will be different from last year."
The Busch North Series will again face off against the NASCAR Grand National Division, West Series, in a team competition. McCarthy likes the North Series chances.
"Our series, from a competitive standpoint, has improved since last year," he said. "With most of the guys we're bringing out there having track time from last year, we're definitely going to have a pretty decent outing as a group. I don't know if there's many teams running the West Series, aside from a couple, that can win the race outright. I think there's a good ten or eleven guys in the North Series that have a chance at winning the race. At times last year, everybody in our series had a strong part of the weekend, where they showed they could run up front, and we would have except that the inversion threw a curve ball.
"I'm looking forward to going back out there, and I'm feeling pretty confident about how we're going to run," he said about his No. 64 TRIMSPA Chevrolet team. "We're bringing the same car and it's going to have about the same setup under it as it did last year. We'll change it a little bit to try and get rid of some of the problems we had last year."
The second annual Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown will be held on November 12th and 13th at the half-mile Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. The Friday night qualifying races and Saturday night feature races will be broadcast live on SpeedTV, with Friday's coverage beginning at 11:00pm eastern and Saturday's at 8:00pm eastern.