Joey McCarthy Puts TRIMSPA Chevrolet In Top Ten In Its First Race (Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy ran his first race in TRIMSPA colors this year at New Hampshire International Speedway, and carried those ...
Joey McCarthy Puts TRIMSPA Chevrolet In Top Ten In Its First Race
(Loudon, N.H. - Sept. 20, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy ran his first race in TRIMSPA colors this year at New Hampshire International Speedway, and carried those colors to their first top-ten finish. Starting sixth in his No. 64 car, McCarthy bounced back from a pair of suspension adjustments and an extra pit stop to post a ninth place finish in Monday's 125-lap NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series event.
McCarthy, who qualified fifth and finished eleventh at the "Magic Mile" in July, could only muster the sixth-best qualifying run on Thursday, turning a lap at an average speed of 123.450 MPH during time trials.
"We struggled in practice really bad," he said. We didn't get as much practice time as we wanted, but we went out to qualify and I just gave it all I had. We were able to pick up to sixth place in the TRIMSPA Chevy. I'm just glad I could get a top-ten starting position because track position is very important here, and being up front definitely helps. We've made a lot of changes to the car for the race so I can put on a good show for the TRIMSPA people. I'm proud to be able to represent their company and products and I'm really excited about the opportunity."
The opportunity to race on Saturday was washed away with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan, and the race was postponed to Monday morning. Another casualty of the weather was the final practice session, where the STI Motorsports team had some setup changes they would have liked to have tried there.
The race started under sunny skies Monday morning and McCarthy spent the opening laps of the race trying to decide what to change during the mandatory pit stop under yellow that would come on lap 35. He entered the pits in seventh place, leaving in that position with the changes that were going to be tried in the final practice.
"We were really tight before the break, and we came in and made an adjustment that we wanted to try in the final practice session. That change made the car undrivable, so we had to come back in and undo that change," McCarthy said.
That second pit stop came under a lap 45 caution, and that put him deep in the field for the following restart. But the car was better, though it took him until the final six-lap run of the race before he was back in the top ten. But he finished ninth, his eighth top-ten finish of the season, and that allowed him to maintain eighth in the season points standings with two races to go.
"After we took that adjustment out of the car, it was awesome," he said after the race. "Obviously we wanted to come here and run closer to the front and win the race. I know we had a top-three car, but that adjustment really killed us. Without our final practice, we had to try and make the car better in the race. It was a gut instinct to try it, and it just made it really bad."
McCarthy considered his first race back with TRIMSPA a success, but it took a lot of support from other people to get him to the point where he could attract a main sponsor for the end of the season.
"Tech Air really stepped up for us," he said. "Also Amsoil, Organized Chaos Graphics, Vespia's Tire Center, RV Tech, and the Buchanans. I'm just really excited about this new relationship we have here. It's a first class company with great people, and I'm really proud to be a part of it. I brought them a top ten today and Dover's a good track for us next week. We're looking forward to going there with a shot at winning that race, and then we'll go run the TRIMSPA 150 at Wall Township Speedway on October 2nd. I'm excited about running the rest of the season with them and hope we can continue on into the future."
McCarthy also extended thanks to Dennis Fischer for building him a strong engine, and to Jason Weissman who built him the set of shock absorbers that he raced on.
The next Busch North race will be at Dover International Speedway, with practice and qualifying held on Thursday, Sept. 23rd and the race on the following day.