Joey McCarthy's Lime Rock Race Ruined By Off-Track Excursion (Lime Rock, Conn. - May 29, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy had the best race car he's ever driven at Lime Rock Park's road course Saturday morning, but contact from...
Joey McCarthy's Lime Rock Race Ruined By Off-Track Excursion
(Lime Rock, Conn. - May 29, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy had the best race car he's ever driven at Lime Rock Park's road course Saturday morning, but contact from another competitor sent his No. 8 RV Tech Chevrolet off the track late in the race and stuck for three laps until it could be returned to the track. He finished 21st.
It was a long week for the driver and the crew of the STI Motorsports team, which competes on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series. A rough race at Thompson International Speedway last Saturday left significant body damage to be repaired in addition to the regularly scheduled work required to make a stock car wanting to turn left to wanting to turn right. After many late nights in the West Berlin, New Jersey shop, the car was completed and brought to the northwest Connecticut road course.
Rain was the story of Friday, with the wet stuff eliminating almost all scheduled on-track activity including qualifying. The 33-car field was lined up by 2003 final owners points, leaving McCarthy in the twentieth starting position in a car that timed in sixth fastest in the only practice session.
McCarthy had gotten all the way up to sixth place in the race's early going, helped by having a fast car as well as having other drivers making their pit stops for fuel. McCarthy himself pitted under caution on lap 20, eventually making a pair of stops under that yellow and going back to 21st for the lap 24 restart. The charge to return to the front was back on, and he was inside the top fifteen by lap 30. He was tenth under caution on lap 45, then passed Ryan Moore for ninth after the race returned to green.
Approaching lap 60, McCarthy had passed Eddie MacDonald for eighth, but MacDonald was battling back. Entering the only left-hander on the track, the two made contact and McCarthy slipped off the track into the wet grass. He became stuck and had to wait for a tow truck to pull him out so he could resume the race. He returned to the track after having lost three laps, and soldiered on to finish twentieth.
"I had an incredible race car," he said after the race. "Our sponsor, RV Tech, is here this weekend so I wanted to put in a good showing for them and our other sponsors like Amsoil. I had at least a third-place race car, and I was biding my time because I knew I had a great car. We made some serious mental errors with our pit strategy and it cost us a lot of positions. We could have had track position and we could have run up front. We planned on pitting under green, but it worked out that we were not able to do that.
"Every guy on this team worked so hard this past week, and to not get the results we should have gotten out of this is frustrating," McCarthy continued. "But we have to learn from our mistakes and not let them happen again. That was the best race car I've ever had here, and I wasn't pushing it that hard. When I was running by myself, I was probably the third-fastest car on the track. I was having a blast out there, driving a great car. It's not very often you get to drive a car that ran as well as it did today. But we'll clean it up and move on to Seekonk Speedway."
The Lime Rock race, which was aired live on HDNet television, will be rebroadcast on SpeedTV on Saturday, June 19th, at 11:00 a.m. The Busch North Series takes a well-deserved week off before returning to action at the third-mile Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway.