Joey McCarthy had a fast car in Saturday's Busch North race at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. McCarthy, piloting the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet prepared by J.T. Mase MotorSports, qualified eleventh but quickly ran inside the top ten before a flat tire...
Joey McCarthy had a fast car in Saturday's Busch North race at Seekonk (Mass.) Speedway. McCarthy, piloting the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet prepared by J.T. Mase MotorSports, qualified eleventh but quickly ran inside the top ten before a flat tire caused him to go down a lap and pit to fix the tire. The car's speed was on display after the pit stop, though, as he fought to get back on the lead lap, which he did by passing the race leader, and went on to finish twelfth.
Third fastest in the opening practice session, McCarthy was having a good day working in a brand new race car. He was seventh fastest in the second session, and eleventh in time trials after posting a fast lap of 13.274 seconds (90.312 MPH) in qualifying.
"We're struggling a little bit with a brand new race car that's never been on the track before," he said before the race. "We've changed a lot of stuff and we're still changing a lot of stuff, and hopefully we'll be closer to where we want to be by the start of the race."
McCarthy detailed the process of setting up a new car.
"You come with as much of a game plan as you can for a baseline setup, and then just go off that," he said. "We changed a lot of stuff, and we're going to change more stuff. We'll see how close we get for the race, and hopefully we'll have a good finish."
McCarthy was quickly up to the top ten at the start of the race, running eighth in the first fifteen laps. But debris picked up while the race was under caution earlier caused a tire to lose air, and he soon found himself in danger of going a lap down. With the tire flat, McCarthy spun on lap 29, bringing out the caution and going a lap down. The tire was changed and McCarthy resumed in the race.
The Dover, N.J. driver set to work to regain his lost lap. He lined up inside the front row in an attempt to do that for the lap 46 restart, and hounded the race leader, Kelly Moore, to get by. He was unsuccessful that first time, but another opportunity to get his lap back was successful just after halfway, and sealed when caution came out on lap 89. Back on the lead lap, McCarthy restarted in the back of the lead lap cars and started picking them off, but ran out of laps before he could move up further than twelfth.
"We got a flat tire, I guess we ran over something when the first accident happened," he said after the race. "It's a shame, we'd been adjusting on the car all day and had a decent car. We got the flat and had to pit, and the guys did a great job getting me back out only one lap down. After that I was just trying to get my lap back. The guys did a great job, the TrustCompany Bank car was a really good race car after all that we went through with it all day trying to make it fast. We just got caught up there at the end with traffic and it came down to track position. It was so hard to pass, guys weren't giving anyone much room, and the last thing I wanted to do was wreck. We came out of it with the car in one piece, and we were fast. It's a shame that it came down to that, but that's racing. Today wasn't our day."
McCarthy now turns his attention to Watkins Glen International, which hosts the Busch North Series next Saturday afternoon. Last year, McCarthy earned his first career top-five finish when he finished fifth at the Glen.
"The car's ready, we worked hard all week on it," he said. "The guys have been working long hours trying to get it ready. I think we've got something good for there. We'll be trying a couple different things, and I'm excited. I love running road courses."