Engine troubles slow Joey McCarthy's new team at Stafford, finishes twentieth. The debut race for J.T. Mase Motorsports, which fields Trim Spa-sponsored Chevrolets for NASCAR Busch North Series driver Joey McCarthy, did not go according to plan...
Engine troubles slow Joey McCarthy's new team at Stafford, finishes twentieth.
The debut race for J.T. Mase Motorsports, which fields Trim Spa-sponsored Chevrolets for NASCAR Busch North Series driver Joey McCarthy, did not go according to plan as engine troubles plagued the car in both practice and the race. McCarthy overcame these obstacles to run the race to its finish, recording a 20th place finish.
In practice, the team was concerned with some problems in the engine and lost most of their available track time tracing the problem. This left little time to scuff tires for the time trial attempt as well as providing the driver with an idea of what the track will be like. Despite these setbacks, McCarthy went out to time trial and returned with the 24th best qualifying time.
"We missed practice with some engine malfunctions," he said afterwards. "I just went out there and tried to get a couple of practice laps. We didn't even get to scuff our tires so we went out on stickers. We've had a rough week with a lot going on, but we'll get it, it's just a matter of getting everything organized. I didn't get any real good practice laps to feel the track so I wasn't really comfortable out there."
The race was only about fifteen laps old when engine troubles reappeared and the Trim Spa Chevrolet started slowing down. A caution on lap 17 allowed McCarthy to come to pit road where the crew went under the hood. McCarthy made an initial diagnosis that the problem was broken valve springs, and posed the question of whether to park the car or try to run to the finish. The response was an enthusiastic "go for it", and McCarthy returned to the track. Despite being significantly down on horsepower, McCarthy only lost four laps on the track and finished twentieth.
"We had the Trim Spa race car running pretty good, and it was handling really well," he said after the race. "All the changes we made had the car handling just awesome. Around lap 20 the car started coming in, but I think two valve springs broke and we were running on six or seven cylinders for the rest of the race. What a shame.
"For the first time out with a new team, we're happy," McCarthy continued. "The guys learned a lot today, and it's a good thing. We finished the race and that's something we hadn't done in the last four races. We can only go up from here. We've got new equipment coming and we're really looking forward to it. We had the car working better than I've ever had here, and it's encouraging. We were really struggling today but our sponsors came to the track and that got us pumped up to put on a show. At least we got the car to work, it was just awful this morning. All the changes we made worked really well. Once we get that Horsepower Engineering engine under the hood, we'll have something for them."
After a short week putting together the new team in time to go to Stafford, McCarthy will now look forward to the next NASCAR Busch North Series race, which will be held at Holland Speedway in Holland, New York.