Joey McCarthy Completes Busch North Rookie Season with Sixteenth at Lime Rock Joey McCarthy has driven his McCarthy/Pritchard Motorsports Chevrolets for the entire NASCAR Busch North Series Schedule for the first time. With sponsorship from ...
Joey McCarthy Completes Busch North Rookie Season with Sixteenth at Lime Rock
Joey McCarthy has driven his McCarthy/Pritchard Motorsports Chevrolets for the entire NASCAR Busch North Series Schedule for the first time. With sponsorship from Mannings USA, McCarthy wound up his rookie season with a sixteenth place finish at the series finale held at Lime Rock Park. With this finish, McCarthy took his fifth Raybestos Rookie of the Race award and wrapped up second place in the rookie of the year standings.
Friday's practice and qualifying found the team a little down on the speed charts, and after the first round of qualifying he was four spots away from making the show. Saturday morning hosted second round qualifying and McCarthy took a second shot, and picked up four tenths of a second to get the 30th starting position.
In the race, McCarthy quickly found a few problems. The car was having some trouble handling on the concrete patches lining most of the corners of the 1.53-mile road course. Another problem was that the check valve on the fuel cell's overflow tube was stuck open, leaving the car losing fuel in the single left-hand turn. This was fixed under caution. Finally, the car was running hot in the middle parts of the race, but this too was fixed by taking some tape from the upper grille. Through all this, McCarthy stayed on the lead lap and finished sixteenth, the best finishing rookie in the race.
"The car was loose for the whole way," McCarthy said after the race. "We tried to adjust for it, but we couldn't fix it. It was the concrete patches on the track, when I got on them it was like driving on ice. I was trying to dodge them, but on the back part of the track you can't get around them. I'd slide the car on them and then catch it on the asphalt.
"I'm happy with the race, actually I'm happy with the whole season," he continued. "It went a lot better than I expected. It's a shame that we couldn't have been closer to Brian Hoar [who is the rookie of the year], we made up a lot of points in the last two races, but we screwed up at Nazareth and at Beech Ridge."
McCarthy/Pritchard successfully qualified for every race this year, and recorded a best finish of 8th place at Thompson Speedway in July. He only failed to finish one race, when a mechanical problem forced an early exit from Beech Ridge in September. In the year-end points standings, McCarthy ended up fifteenth.