BNS: Holland: Joey McCarthy race notes

Joey McCarthy wins career first Busch North Series race at Holland Speedway Joey McCarthy used an inside pass on Kelly Moore, the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series' winningest driver, on lap 108 of Saturday night's...

Joey McCarthy wins career first Busch North Series race at Holland Speedway

Joey McCarthy used an inside pass on Kelly Moore, the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series' winningest driver, on lap 108 of Saturday night's Sunoco/Burnham Boilers 150 to take the lead and go on to his first series race at the Holland International Speedway in Holland, New York. McCarthy's TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet, fielded by J.T. Mase MotorSports, won after starting the race in the eleventh position.

"I have to hand it to my crew," J.T. Mase MotorSports is incredible, with my teammate finishing fifth, too. I just want to thank Jeff Masessa, the owner, Jason Weissman, the crew chief, the rest of the guys and my sponsor, TrustCompany Bank, they're all amazing."

Following afternoon practice at the 3/8-mile high-banked oval in western New York state, McCarthy did not think he had a winning car. He still had his doubts after qualifying, where he was eleventh fastest.

"We just can't hit the chassis right on," he said. "We tried about a thousand things during practice and after qualifying. Hopefully everything will work for the race. Eleventh isn't that great of a place to start here, I was hoping to be a little closer to the front of the field. Hopefully everybody will play it smart this week and keep the fenders on the cars. That's pretty much all it takes here, you've got to be around at the end."

When the race started, McCarthy could not make much progress towards the front of the race through the first of two cautions, the second of which came out on lap 60. But when the race restarted on lap 65, McCarthy's car came alive in the bottom groove and he started passing cars that could only run in the high groove. On lap 80, he passed Dave Dion for eighth, and didn't stop until he passed Mike Stefanik for third on lap 95. The second place car hit the wall and brought out the caution on lap 96, leaving McCarthy second behind Moore when the race restarted on lap 102. Five laps after the restart, McCarthy pulled low on Moore and challenged for the lead.

"Kelly's a tough customer," McCarthy said. "I just wanted to get by him as soon I could before he could before he figured out how he could keep me behind him. I was just worried that he was going to come back and get me back."

After two laps of running side-by-side with the veteran driver, McCarthy cleared him and had the lead to himself. Just one more caution flew during the race, and after that restart McCarthy drove off to win his first series race. With the win, he moved up to second place in points.

"I don't know what happened, we were just a mediocre car and I was afraid that the we might get lapped early on," he said after the race. "All of a sudden, I think the track cooled down enough that it tightened up the car just enough after that lap 60 caution. It tightened us up enough and maybe it got everybody else a little too tight that they started smoking their tires a little bit.

"I couldn't go low enough on the track," he said of his passing maneuvers in the low lane. "The lower I went, the better it got, it was the only way I could get bite off the corner. The car felt like I could hook the line all the way around the corner. I went down there and nobody else was down there. There was an open lane, it was amazing. After I got the lead, I just wanted to get away from everybody. I figured we'd get more cautions, and my time up front would be short lived, but I was glad that everybody drove clean tonight, and I think we put on a good show for everybody. It was just a lot of fun."

McCarthy will look to make it two wins in a row in two weeks when the Busch North Series returns to action at the 5/8-mile Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway.

-ajc-

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