BNS: Stafford II: Joey McCarthy race notes

Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driver of the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet for J.T. Mase MotorSports on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, bounced back from last week's DNF at Beech Ridge to record his second top-five ...

Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driver of the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet for J.T. Mase MotorSports on the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, bounced back from last week's DNF at Beech Ridge to record his second top-five finish of the 2003 season. McCarthy's fourth place finish at the Stafford Motor Speedway in Connecticut allowed him to pick up three positions in the season points standings, and now sits sixth after five of eighteen races.

With the car from last week badly damaged, the team went with a brand new race car at Stafford and spent the 90-minute practice session learning and adjusting on the car. What they learned was put to good use in qualifying, where McCarthy was seventh fastest, turning a lap of 20.313 seconds (88.613 MPH) on the half-mile oval.

"We're working all the bugs out of the car, trying a lot of things," he said before the race. "We're getting there. Seventh isn't that bad, but the car's not that comfortable now. We're trying to make it more comfortable for the race. We're hoping the track will tighten up later. We changed so much stuff today, we don't want to get too crazy and chase ourselves out of the race. I'm just looking to finish one of these races, I've got to get back in the groove."

Riding eighth for most of the race's first fifty laps, McCarthy moved up to sixth following a lap 42 caution when some front-runners made pit stops. Following the lap 48 restart, he took fifth from Jerry Marquis, riding in that spot as the race crossed the halfway point. He started working on Mike Olsen for fourth, finally taking that position on a lap 105 restart. He got close enough to third place Kelly Moore to make some runs on him, but couldn't make the pass, and finished the race in a solid fourth place.

"The TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet was incredible, and the J.T. Mase MotorSports crew was incredible to get us back here this week with a car that's never been on the racetrack before," he said afterwards. "What happened last week cost the owner a lot of money, and it cost our crew a lot of time away from their families. I really appreciate what they did this week, it was a lot of hard work. But tonight they got paid back a little bit. I'm looking forward to the next couple weeks, a lot of race tracks I like, and I'm just really excited about the rest of the season. We needed this.

"I stayed pretty clean throughout the race, tried to stay by myself most of the time," McCarthy continued. "I could run with the leaders after 30 or 40 laps of green, but that doesn't happen often in this series. The car wouldn't come in until later, it's a lot different from the one we've been running. It takes a lot of getting used to, when it came to adjusting it. With the time we had today, with the problems we had in practice with the steering box and everything, it was just all around a good day. The car was quick, if anything happened up front we'd have been there, we could run with them, we just couldn't beat them."

McCarthy and the TrustCompany Bank team are back in action next Saturday night, running a 150-lap race at Holland International Speedway in western New York State.

-ajc-

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