BNS: Nazareth: Joey McCarthy race report

Joey McCarthy encounters trouble at Nazareth Speedway, finishes thirtieth. Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy was optimistic heading into the third NASCAR Busch North Series race of the season, held Saturday at Pennsylvania's Nazareth Speedway.

Joey McCarthy encounters trouble at Nazareth Speedway, finishes thirtieth.

Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy was optimistic heading into the third NASCAR Busch North Series race of the season, held Saturday at Pennsylvania's Nazareth Speedway. With representatives and guests of sponsoring companies Mannings USA and Trim Spa, McCarthy prepared for a good run.

Practice found McCarthy 26th best, but he wasn't worried since he knew the car would race well. He tried to get a little more out of the car in qualifying after posting a first lap of 29.057 seconds (123.894 MPH), and spun the car on the second lap. There was no contact, though, and McCarthy was able to drive the car back to the pits. He would wind up starting 24th.

"I just went for it," he said. "The car felt good so I went for it on the second lap. I just got in the gas real early and stayed in it. It started to loosen up on me and I stayed in it anyway, just trying to get off the corner. I figured if I got off that corner, I'd have been in really good shape, maybe in the top fifteen anyway. It would have been a decent lap.

"Hopefully we'll be able to move up from starting in the back," McCarthy continued. "But if we can move up, it'll look good. We'll be passing cars, and that's what people want to see."

While McCarthy's car was handling well in the race, it was lacking horsepower and McCarthy was struggling to make passes stick. He had moved into the top fifteen approaching the halfway mark of the race, and when the pits opened under caution, he stopped and the McCarthy/Pritchard Motorsports team put on fresh right-side tires. He returned to the race in 23rd position.

Through three-quarters of the race's scheduled distance, McCarthy stayed on the lead lap, but with just twenty to go, he was passed by the lead car and put a lap down. He was still racing others on his lap for position and was running 20th, the first car one lap down, under a late caution that would set up a green-white-checker finish.

Taking the green with two laps to go, a car further up the line did not come up to speed and forced those behind to check up. McCarthy slowed but a car behind him didn't and pushed McCarthy into the back of the car ahead of him. The contact resulted in sheet metal damage and pushed the radiator back into the front of the engine. McCarthy came to the pits where the crew tried to get him back out to finish the race, but with the radiator leaking water, his race was done. He was 30th in the race's final standings.

"I just can't catch a break," McCarthy said after the race. "I thought we were going to have a decent run, and with a couple laps to go everyone got bunched up and we got caught up in someone else's problem. It's just real frustrating. We actually didn't have a bad car, it was a little tight, but somebody just got bunched up and somebody hit me from behind and pushed me into an accident.

"The car was handling well, we're just lacking horsepower really bad," McCarthy continued. "We're going to do something about that this week. We can't run like this anymore. We're running up on guys in the corners and they're walking away from us on the straightaways and that's frustrating. At least for Mannings and Trim Spa we'll probably get some good TV time."

The race will be broadcast on the Speed Channel on May 27th.

Next up for the team is Saturday night at Seekonk Speedway in Seekonk, Massachusetts. McCarthy/Pritchard Motorsports tested at the track three weeks ago and ran well despite running on old tires. The team was back at the shop Sunday making repairs to the car and expects to have it ready for action.

- www.mccarthy-pritchard-motorsports.com.

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