Joey McCarthy Fifteenth At NHIS After Long Week Of Preparations (Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - It was a long week for Joey McCarthy and the No. 8 STI Motorsports team. Following a rough race at Lake Erie Speedway last weekend that left their...
Joey McCarthy Fifteenth At NHIS After Long Week Of Preparations
(Loudon, N.H. - July 15, 2005) - It was a long week for Joey McCarthy and the No. 8 STI Motorsports team. Following a rough race at Lake Erie Speedway last weekend that left their primary car beat up all around, the decision was made to prepare an untested car for Friday's race at New Hampshire International Speedway. After three straight nights where team members were working on the car until 3:00 a.m., they made it to the track and were rewarded with a fifteenth place finish.
Staring down a long week of bodywork as well as the routine changes that needed to be made to a NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series car to make it go from a short track to the one-mile NHIS, the team decided it would be smarter to take the second car, which had been repaired following a crash in the final race of the 2004 season but had not yet been tested. It required a lot of work before it was ready to race, which meant the team had some late nights to put in before leaving Wednesday for the Magic Mile.
While working out the kinks of a new car kept practice speeds down, McCarthy caught s break when qualifying was rained out and the team took advantage of its being ninth in points to start the race in that position.
Running thirteenth at the race's second caution, which came out on lap 17, McCarthy took a major step forward when he elected to stay on the track while most others came to pit road. He moved all the way to second, but pitted to give up that track position under the next caution on lap 26. Restarting deep in the field, McCarthy quickly returned to the top twenty, running as high as eighth before pitting a second time on lap 82 for right-side tires.
Set up for a strong run to the finish, McCarthy went from 21st to 15th in just fifteen laps, but laps were winding down and the field was getting strung out. He completed all 125 laps, finishing on the lead lap and in 15th place.
"We're behind on our bodies and we're behind on our horsepower," he said after the race. "Until we get the proper funding to go ahead in those two areas, we're going to struggle at the bigger tracks. We definitely need some sponsorship to move us along. I said back at Lee that I could tell that we were behind in those departments, but we'll have some good runs at some of the short tracks coming up where the bodies won't factor in."
McCarthy had words of praise for the STI Motorsports crew.
"But everybody worked hard, and we did the best with what we got," he said. "These guys are just incredible, they did an amazing feat just to get us here. I'm so proud of them that we even got here with this car. We finished fifteenth, and all in all it was a good run. We did the best we could with what we had, I drove the wheels off the car, and we'll get better. We're capable of being better than that, but again we're only as good as our funding allows us to be. It's been a rough week. I've had fifteen hours of sleep since Sunday, but I put my best foot forward. I gave 100% of what I've got out there. It's been rough and tiring, but at the same time it's been exciting."
McCarthy will return to the track next weekend for the fifth Busch North Series race of the season, held at the Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl.