Joey McCarthy Leads 100 Laps of Toyota All-Star Showdown; Finishes Seventh Joey McCarthy put his TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet at the front of the field for over 100 total laps during the running of the inaugural Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown ...
Joey McCarthy Leads 100 Laps of Toyota All-Star Showdown; Finishes Seventh
Joey McCarthy put his TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet at the front of the field for over 100 total laps during the running of the inaugural Toyota NASCAR All-Star Showdown between Friday and Saturday night's competition. He dominated his fifty-lap qualifying race on Friday night, which put him on the pole for Saturday's 125-lap feature event. During the first hundred-lap segment of that race, McCarthy stayed at the front, fending off challenges from fellow Busch North Series competitors Andy Santerre and Ryan Moore. But after the race was stopped and the top cars inverted for a final 25-lap shootout, McCarthy could not return to the front and finished seventh.
In the first of the weekend's races - both of which were broadcast live on Speed TV - at the half-mile Irwindale Speedway, near Los Angeles, California, McCarthy started tenth as a result of his points finish in the Busch North Series. But he put on a charge that saw him come to fifth before ten laps were run, and third just after the halfway mark. He ran down Winston West's Austin Cameron to take second with twenty laps to go, and passed Busch North's Bryon Chew to take the lead on lap 37, never looking back. His win in the qualifying race gave him the pole for Saturday night's Showdown.
"I've got to hand it to this team once again, all season they've been giving me great race cars," he said. "We came out here, and we had a decent race car that turned into a great race car by the end of the night. It's great to come out here and be able to represent TrustCompany Bank on live, national TV. I think we've got a good car for the hundred-lap race, and I wish we didn't have to stop before doing the last twenty-five laps. I think the hundred-lapper is more what we're set up for, so we'll have to think of something for that sprint at the end.
In Saturday night's race, McCarthy raced from the pole with Andy Santerre (BNS) alongside on the front row. He fended off a challenge from Santerre following a lap 19 restart, holding the top spot. Mark Reed (WW) and Ryan Moore (BNS) also ran as high as second, but none of them could pass McCarthy, who led the field to the lap 100 caution flag that began a ten-minute break for crews to work on the cars.
During that break, a wheel was spun to see if the top four, six, or eight cars would be inverted for the start of the last 25-lap segment. The wheel came up with sixth, putting McCarthy sixth on the restart.
The tires on McCarthy's car weren't as good as the ones he ran the earlier part of the race with, and that showed as he could not make progress towards the front in the second segment. He fell to seventh after a battle with Brian Hoar (BNS), but returned to sixth with just seven laps to run. But he was passed by Eddie MacDonald (BNS) on a lap 118 restart, and had to settle for seventh.
"We had a really good race car," McCarthy said after the race. "It wasn't blistering fast, but it was consistent. The guys did a great job once again, , and we got a lot of exposure for TrustCompany Bank. If the format was different, we could have had a different result. We came in and bolted on new tires, and we had tire problems all weekend, trying to keep them consistent. Something went wrong and we just couldn't turn after that.
"We had a great season and accomplished a lot," he continued. "We proved that we can run up front on a consistent basis, and that's the first step we need to do to get to the next level. I'm really looking forward to next year. We've got a great team and they worked their butts off all year, and it showed. I'm really happy about our season. I think we made a good showing for our sponsor all year. No matter what happens, we're definitely a very improved team, without a doubt."
McCarthy will accept his award for finishing sixth in points at the NASCAR Busch North Series banquet on November 22nd.