Joey McCarthy, driving for J.T. Mase MotorSports in the No. 22 TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, brought out a new car for the running of Saturday afternoon's New England 125 at the one-mile New...
Joey McCarthy, driving for J.T. Mase MotorSports in the No. 22 TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, brought out a new car for the running of Saturday afternoon's New England 125 at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway. While the team struggled with the new car through Thursday's practice and qualifying sessions, they were on the way to a good finish in the race until engine troubles forced the team to retire from the race in 30th position.
Through two practice sessions before qualifying, McCarthy and the team were working with the car, which had never been on a race track before. In the second practice, McCarthy was 23rd fastest. Qualifying followed, and McCarthy continued improving, taking the fourteenth starting position.
"We had trouble getting through tech this morning, so we missed the first practice altogether," he said. "It's a brand new car, and it took some laps just to get the bugs worked out of it. All in all, we're happy. We're starting fourteenth, and we still think there's a lot of speed left to be found in it. We're going to make a lot of changes for Saturday morning's final practice and try some stuff out.
"We were expecting to have a few problems," he continued. "But we expect a lot of ourselves as a team so we expected it to be a little bit quicker than it was today. All in all, the team did an incredible job getting things switched around. We made a lot of changes in a short amount of time, so I'm really happy for all of the guys, they do an awesome job at the track. We're just trying to bounce back this week, and this place would be a great place to have a good run."
In Saturday morning's final practice, McCarthy ran 26th fastest.
At the start of the race, McCarthy ran in the top twenty to the second caution of the race, where he joined the rest of the field on pit road to take on enough gas to go the distance. He returned, still running in the top twenty. As the race passed the halfway point, McCarthy started making progress through the field, but that all went away on lap 69 when his engine went sour and he had to pit. The engine could not be repaired, so McCarthy was forced to retire the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet, and was the 30th place finisher of the event.
"It started out to be a rough weekend, we chased the car around, and we didn't get a lot of practice, but in the race the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet was running pretty good," he said after the race. "We found a couple things that made the car work, and it was the best car I'd ever had here. Jason [Weissman, crew chief] and the rest of the crew did an incredible job. We were struggling for two days but they put a real good car underneath me, I was really happy.
"We just had some engine woes all weekend," McCarthy continued. "We were underpowered from the beginning and I think after it blew up, we knew something was going on inside the engine. That's something we're going to work on. I'm looking forward to going to Waterford next week, it's an awesome race track and I think we're going to have a good run there."
Despite the disappointing finish, McCarthy still had high praise for his team.
"I can't say enough about the guys who work together all week," he said. "J.T. Mase's an incredible race team from the owner down. I think we've got the pieces to the puzzle, it's just a matter of shaking out the bugs. We're going to have a good rest of the season. We're going to be strong. We're going to sort out our problems and win some more races."
McCarthy and team will return to the track in a week for a 150-lap event at the Waterford Speedbowl in Waterford, Connecticut.