BNS: New Hampshire: Joey McCarthy race notes

Joey McCarthy returns to Busch North Series, finishes twenty-second. After taking a week off from the NASCAR Busch North Series, Joey McCarthy and the J.T. Mase MotorSports team returned to action to participate in the New England 125, held ...

Joey McCarthy returns to Busch North Series, finishes twenty-second.

After taking a week off from the NASCAR Busch North Series, Joey McCarthy and the J.T. Mase MotorSports team returned to action to participate in the New England 125, held Saturday at the New Hampshire International Speedway. His Trim Spa Chevrolet finished the race in the twenty-second position.

Thursday, when practice and qualifying were held, the team was working with getting a good race setup down as well as preparing for time trials. McCarthy was the first car to make a qualifying attempt, and found that his car did not work well with rubber laid down on the track by another division also running that day. He ended up qualifying 28th.

"I had a good car in practice, a decent handling car," he said. "But I went to qualify after the Modifieds were on the track and couldn't get any grip. But we've got a good race car, qualifying's not everything. I just have to stay out of trouble and run a good race on Saturday. I'm happy with how everything's going. There's just a little problem with the Modified tire rubber being on the track when the first few cars make their qualifying attempts. I had a lot of grip in practice, but I had no grip in qualifying, I was chasing the car around."

McCarthy and the team made hundreds of new fans both Thursday and Friday night. Thursday evening was spent at the annual "Racefest" celebration held in downtown Concord, New Hampshire, where McCarthy joined other Busch North drivers in an autograph session that lasted over two hours. Friday morning found McCarthy being interviewed on a local radio station's morning program, and he was invited to come to the station's function that night at a downtown restaurant. Dozens of Trim Spa T-shirts, hats, and autograph cards were given away there as McCarthy again proved to be a favorite of race fans and autograph seekers.

Saturday, following a final half-hour practice, it was time to race. McCarthy held his own in traffic but the pace set by the leaders was fast and McCarthy was put a lap down just before the first caution of the event flew on lap 43. He pitted with most of the field under this caution and he returned to the race as the fourth car one lap down. Fighting brake problems, McCarthy continued on, despite being involved in a four-car spin on the backstretch just twenty-four laps from the end. He drove away from the incident, pitted to have the car checked out and have new right-side tires fitted, and was sent back out to finish the race. He completed the event twenty-second, the only car one lap down.

"We finished the race, we were just really loose the whole time with a brake problem," he said afterwards. "We've been struggling trying to finish races, and I'm really happy to get a whole race under our belt. We worked on the brake problem and the car was a lot better. The next race here we should have a better body and I think we'll do really well, especially if we get a test session in between. I'm happy we finished, and we've got a whole car so we can concentrate on next week."

The next Busch North Series race will be held Friday night at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut. Last month at Stafford, McCarthy ran well despite having engine problems, and he's looking forward to returning.

"We've got a pretty good setup for there, so I think we'll run pretty well," he said.

-jtmms-

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