TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet driver Joey McCarthy has raced at New Hampshire International Speedway since 1999, but hadn't finished in the top ten in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition at the one-mile track until ...
TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet driver Joey McCarthy has raced at New Hampshire International Speedway since 1999, but hadn't finished in the top ten in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition at the one-mile track until Saturday's New Hampshire 125, where he finished seventh. His previous best finish at the track was thirteenth, scored in this race one year ago.
In two practice sessions on Thursday afternoon, McCarthy was fourteenth fastest in both. He picked up nicely for qualifying, though, taking the fifth starting position with a fast lap of 30.798 seconds (123.670 MPH).
"We got a lot of track time in practice, and that's really important," he said. "We've got a new engine in the car and that made a considerable difference. we're really happy with the power we've got now. The guys have done an amazing job all day long getting me out there to get laps. We weren't that good off the trailer and made a lot of adjustments and changed a lot of shocks and I'm pretty happy with it right now. We've got to loosen it up for the race a little bit."
McCarthy fell to tenth during the race's first ten laps, falling into a big scramble with six other drivers. He came out of that in eleventh, where he was running when the first caution of the event came out on lap 38. He joined the field on pit road for two tires and gas to go the distance, returning to the track in thirteenth place.
In the next stretch of green flag racing, McCarthy moved up to twelfth, then came to tenth by passing both Jamie Aube and Dale Shaw. Approaching lap 100, he was up to eighth. He continued in that spot as the race neared its conclusion, as it finished with a green-white-checker two-lap dash to the end. He ran those final two laps racing with the father-son Moore team, first getting passed by the younger Ryan, then passing the older Kelly as the checkers waved. McCarthy wound up in seventh place, which allowed him to improve his points standings from tenth to ninth.
"I have got an awesome race team," he said after the race. "I'm so proud to be a part of this organization, these guys just work and work and work. We had an awesome car in practice this morning, but the track changed on us. We planned on the track tightening up on us, but it never did. I had a handful the whole race, it was tough. We needed really long runs for me to have any chance to move up at all and run down some of the faster cars.
"The Trustcompany Bank car was competitive all day," McCarthy continued. "We had a great pit stop, and the guys were awesome. They don't get a chance to do pit stops a lot, and they don't get to practice a lot, but they nailed it. After that, I just drove the wheels off it. It got a little rough there at the end, I felt outnumbered. I'm just really proud of everyone from Jeff the owner to all the guys who help out. I'm just so happy to be a part of this. There's some good tings coming in the next four races. This is my best finish here, I've never finished in the top ten, and we gained a lot of points today. Overall, I'm very happy and really looking forward to going to next week. We're going to have an awesome car next week. I'm also looking forward to Stafford and Lime Rock."
McCarthy, and the Busch North Series, will return to the track on Friday afternoon at the one-mile Dover International Speedway.