Joey McCarthy Continues NHIS Qualifying Prowess With Fifth; Finishes Eleventh (Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Joey McCarthy has a knack for qualifying well at New Hampshire International Speedway. In NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North...
Joey McCarthy Continues NHIS Qualifying Prowess With Fifth; Finishes Eleventh
(Loudon, N.H. - July 24, 2004) - Joey McCarthy has a knack for qualifying well at New Hampshire International Speedway. In NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition, he's continuously risen above what others in similar equipment have been capable of in qualifying at or near the top of the starting grids. In his most recent outing at the one-mile track, he took the same car he's run at short tracks and road courses all season, and put that fifth against cars with professionally-hung bodies and more powerful engines. In the race, he performed strongly to post an eleventh place finish.
It was another short week for McCarthy and the STI Motorsports crew. Just four days after getting back from last week's race at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl, the car had to be maintained and prepared to leave for a track three times the size. But due to time constraints, the setup would have to be done at the track.
Or not, as the case turned out to be. With the same basic setup the team ran at Waterford and a rear end gear ratio change, McCarthy took to the track in practice and found it working well. He went on to qualify on that setup, and was rewarded with the fifth starting position.
"The guys worked really hard, and we only got one day in at the shop," he said. "We didn't have time to put a setup in this thing so we came here with our Waterford setup due to lack of time and that's what's in it now. All we did was change the rear end gear. I got a couple of long runs in practice and got comfortable, got acclimated to the place again. I feel really good that we should be decent for the race. We just have to do some basic maintenance in the final practice to make sure the car's right, and we'll be set."
In that final practice, held Saturday morning, McCarthy was fifteenth fastest.
Settling into seventh, and then eighth, in the race's early going, McCarthy came to pit road along with the majority of the field under caution on lap 31, taking on just fuel. The STI crew picked McCarthy up a spot in the pits, and he restarted tenth. He was running eleventh when the next caution came out on lap 49, and he was on pit road again, this time to take on right-side tires. He restarted eighteenth.
Twelfth at lap 67, McCarthy fell to thirteenth with just twenty-five laps to go. He wasn't done racing, though, and got one more position before the race ended, to wind up just outside the top ten. With this finish, McCarthy picked up one more spot in the season points standings to now run eighth.
"People were protecting the bottom and it was really tough to pass out there unless your car was really exceptional," he explained. "We were tight from the get-go once the green flag dropped. We were pretty loose in the morning practice and I thought we'd be in good shape for the race because this track always tightens up as the day goes on. But the cloud cover was pretty strong and that caused the track to tighten up more than we expected. We just missed the setup a little bit. It was one of those days where we almost had a top ten.
"We put quite an effort in just to get here this week and run as close to the front as we can with what we have for limited equipment and resources," McCarthy continued. "But that's no excuse. We definitely want to be up in the top five every week."
McCarthy's next opportunity to run in the top five comes next Saturday night at the four-year old Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y. At the half-mile track last year, McCarthy qualified eleventh and finished thirteenth. For more information, visit www.joeymccarthy.com.