BNS: Stafford III: Joey McCarthy race notes

Bud Pole Winner Joey McCarthy Finishes Second in Stafford's Fall Final BNS Race Joey McCarthy started Sunday's Carquest Fall Final, the second-to-last NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of the year, from the inside of the ...

Bud Pole Winner Joey McCarthy Finishes Second in Stafford's Fall Final BNS Race

Joey McCarthy started Sunday's Carquest Fall Final, the second-to-last NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series race of the year, from the inside of the front row after winning the Bud Pole Award in qualifying, which was held last weekend. After a pair of rainouts, McCarthy and the rest of the entrants ran the race, and he ran a smart, steady race to finish second, holding off the two-time series champion Andy Santerre in the final laps.

Eight days before the race was actually run, McCarthy paced the 29-car field in qualifying, earning himself his first Bud Pole Award. The race was rained out the following day, and rescheduled to Saturday, October 4th. Rain again forced a postponement to the next day, when the race was finally run. During the week between qualifying and the race, McCarthy's J.T. Mase MotorSports crew went over the No. 22 TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet thoroughly, and showed up at the track prepared.

While Saturday was a washout after a 30-minute practice session, Sunday dawned sunny, if not cold. Under partly cloudy skies the Carquest Fall Final got under way, and McCarthy got away with the lead when the green flag flew. He led the opening laps, but gave way to Mike Johnson and settled in behind.

"Mike got by me early when the track was real slick and the car was in a four-wheel slide," he explained. "I was just fortunate that I only lost that one position."

McCarthy had to fend off the challenges of Kelly Moore, who he beat for his first series win at Holland International Speedway earlier this year, and then Santerre after the defending series champion moved into third place behind McCarthy two-thirds through the race. But while positions were changing behind him, he was still concentrating on the driver ahead of him.

"A couple of times I thought i had something for Mike," he said. "I needed a really long run, somewhere around forty or fifty laps, before I would have had something for him. I'd get really good restarts, but he'd pull away from me going into turn one. Then I'd start coming back up on him a little bit. We were very equal, it would have been very hard to pass him without getting into him. I had my chances, but I don't drive that way.

"I wasn't worried about Andy," McCarthy continued. "I knew he was running for a championship, and I'm sure he was happy to run in the top three and clinch that championship. He's the best driver out there, so I knew he wouldn't take too many chances. Congratulations to him, he had a great season."

Following 150 laps, with eight caution periods, McCarthy followed Johnson to the checkers by just under a second.

"It was a nice consistent run," he said. "We had a fast car all weekend, and the weekend before that. After the tires got hot, I had a really good car. It tightened up at the end a little bit, but all in all it's an amazing job by the team. It was an amazing job all the way around.

"I'm real excited about going to Lime Rock," he continued, referring to the final Busch North race of the year, which will be held next Saturday at the Lime Rock Park road course in Connecticut. "Today really helped us out with the points situation, and I think I had an advantage at Lime Rock over a lot of the guys there. I love running that place, and I'm really looking forward to going there."

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mike Johnson