New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driving the ...
New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driving the #41 Mannings USA Chevrolet on the Busch North Series, NASCAR Touring, struggled at Seekonk Speedway on Saturday during the running of the Budweiser 150. McCarthy, in a car he hadn't raced since last July, started and finished 22nd at the Massachusetts one-third mile oval.
The McCarthy/Pritchard Motorsports team hurriedly prepared this particular car for a test day at Seekonk three weeks ago, and then went home to apply what they learned and finish the car. Coming back to the track with the rest of the Busch North troops, McCarthy was encouraged with how well he was running in practice, but could only muster the 22nd best qualifying time.
"The car was a little loose on the first lap, and it was still loose on the second lap," he said afterwards, "and the driver didn't pick up enough speed on the second lap. The driver's got to make up for lost time in the race. I think we'll be all right in the race. I was keeping up with some pretty good cars in practice, we just can't figure out what's wrong with qualifying."
The race started with McCarthy mired in heavy traffic deep in the field, and he was holding his own but unfortunately was put down a lap by the leader of the race. Trying to race those on his lap while keeping out of the way of those racing for the win, McCarthy was the victim of being spun by veteran drivers on two different occasions. After coming home in 22nd place, McCarthy was tired and a little frustrated.
"It just comes down to qualifying," he said. "The car started getting better towards the middle of the race, and if we had qualified better we could have put ourselves in a better position to take advantage of that. The car was really loose in the beginning, but then it got good. I had got spun once, and then I got spun around again. The car wasn't that bad once I got it straightened out, I was running with the leaders at the time."
McCarthy expressed frustration with those drivers who bumped his Mannings USA Chevrolet out of the way rather than pass him cleanly.
"They're guys who've been running in the series for a long time with what are supposed to be top teams," he said, "but they're running into me for no reason. How do you respect a guy who runs into you for no reason? It costs us money when we don't finish in the top 20, both at the track and from our sponsors. You've got to fight for yourself out there, it's dog-eat-dog. There's a whole lane on the outside of you, if they want to go around they can go around, but they're not quick enough so they go through you."
Despite the on-track trouble, McCarthy's car only needs minor cosmetic touch-up before the next race at Holland Speedway next Saturday. McCarthy ran well in this race last year before brake problems cut his run short.