Joey McCarthy Frustrated At Seekonk, Finishes Thirteenth (Seekonk, Mass - June 12, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy had a tough race at the third-mile Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway Saturday night. In the Budweiser 150, the fourth NASCAR...
Joey McCarthy Frustrated At Seekonk, Finishes Thirteenth
(Seekonk, Mass - June 12, 2004) - Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy had a tough race at the third-mile Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway Saturday night. In the Budweiser 150, the fourth NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of the 2004 season, McCarthy had another solid qualifying run to start the race sixth, but his being involved in a number of on-track incidents left him thirteenth at the checkers and frustrated with the racing in the series.
Driving the No. 8 RV Tech/Amsoil Chevrolet for STI Motorsports, McCarthy came into the Seekonk race sixth in series points, despite a disappointing race at Lime Rock Park two weeks back. Getting back to oval-track racing, McCarthy posted seventh-best and ninth-best times in the two practice sessions. He picked up more speed in qualifying, where he added to his season-long streak of top-ten starts - excepting Lime Rock where the field was lined up by last year's owner points - by time-trialing sixth fastest.
"The car's been tight most of the day, and we've been trying to adjust on it, loosen it up," he said. "We had a good shot for the pole but we didn't get our tires straightened out to what they needed to be and it tightened up on the second lap. But all in all we've got something good to race with. I just want to keep clean and get into position for a good finish by the end of the race. But you never know here, it can get pretty wild and crazy."
McCarthy's words were prophetic as the Budweiser 150 got wild and crazy just a handful of laps into the event. While racing for seventh position, McCarthy spun in the fourth turn to bring out the caution. He stayed on the lead lap and resumed at the tail of the field. But racing in the back is not usually the best place to be and McCarthy found this out first-hand as he had to battle all the way back to the front. He got up to ninth by lap 90, but his troubles were far from over.
Lap 107 saw McCarthy spin a second time to bring out the yellow. Again he resumed on the lead lap, only to get spun out a third time on lap 114. Undaunted, he resolved to finish the race as strongly as possible and raced up to thirteenth before running out of time. But after the race, the frustration of having a fast car spun out from under him multiple times was evident.
"I think I can get myself to that next level of racing, but I don't know if it's through this series or not," he said. "I've got great sponsors like RV Tech and Amsoil but between getting taken out at Lime Rock and then getting taken out here I'm not getting the finishes we should have and these sponsors deserve. This is a one-car team and it's a lot of work week-to-week keeping it up to speed and looking good to showcase my sponsors, and races like this one make it hard to go to the shop to work on the car and get excited over the next race. You work hard and you get a car that's running good and you fight all day, racing hard, trying to look good for your sponsors and guys just turn you around on the track.
"We'll put it back together and go to the next race," McCarthy continued. "I want to race at a professional level and this series didn't look very professional tonight. I can't even say 'that's racing', because it wasn't. It's not fun. We were fast here and got taken out, just like we got taken out at Lime Rock when we were fast. There are guys in this series who are good to race with, guys like Mike Stefanik, but this series needs more drivers like him to have good races."
Seekonk's race was taped for broadcast on HDNet for Sunday, June 13th, at 8:00PM. It will also be shown on SpeedTV at noon on Saturday, June 26th.
The next race for the Busch North Series is Friday night, June 18th, at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Connecticut. That race will be shown live on HDNet with coverage starting at 7:30PM.