Joey McCarthy Finishes 2005 Busch North Season Strong With Sixth At Thompson (Thompson, Conn. - Oct. 30, 2005) - Joey McCarthy has had his share of struggles as his STI Motorsports team labored through the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, ...
Joey McCarthy Finishes 2005 Busch North Season Strong With Sixth At Thompson
(Thompson, Conn. - Oct. 30, 2005) - Joey McCarthy has had his share of struggles as his STI Motorsports team labored through the 2005 NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series season, but they finished the season strong. After a third-place finish at Lime Rock Park last time out, McCarthy scored a sixth at the season finale at Thompson International Speedway to give the team momentum heading into the Toyota All-Star Showdown in two weeks.
McCarthy, a native of New Jersey but now making his home in North Carolina, was in the same boat as the other teams at Thompson as others' on-track problems severely cut into what was already short practice time. Despite that, he qualified twelfth on Saturday in preparation for Sunday's New England Dodge Dealers 100.
After a quick caution on the opening lap, the race went caution-free beyond the halfway point. It took forty laps for McCarthy to establish himself in the top ten, and he was sitting ninth under caution when the track lights went out. This brought about a thirteen-minute red flag that wound up helping McCarthy's cause considerably.
"The track lights going out was the best thing that could have happened to us because we were getting really tight," he said. "I was using a lot of brakes getting into the turns and all the heat that generated was causing the right front tire to grow. Once we got everything cooled down, the car was really good. I just wish the race was a little longer because we kept moving up after we got going again."
After the race resumed, McCarthy moved up towards the top five and rode sixth as the laps wound down. A second red flag, this one eight minutes long, set up a three-lap dash to the finish. He moved to the outside of Matt Kobyluck but Kobyluck rode him up the banking in the turn, but McCarthy was ready for this and gave him room. He took one more shot at Kobyluck on the last lap but had to settle for sixth place.
"The team did an awesome job taking a car that we don't usually run on the short tracks and made it work," he said after the race. "We ran a pretty unconventional setup and that worked well too. We got our best motor back and it worked exceptionally well, it ran awesome and we'll be taking that to California in a couple weeks."
Finishing the season twelfth in points despite missing a race, McCarthy earned his third consecutive invitation to the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown which will be held November 13th at Irwindale Speedway, just outside of Los Angeles, California.
"I'm looking forward to going to Irwindale in a couple weeks. We'll have our other car ready, and it's my favorite car that's run really well out there the first two years. Things are looking up. We've had a pretty tough season, but the last three races, from Loudon on, have been very positive. I can't wait to go out there. I want to thank my whole team for hanging in there all year. We didn't have much luck but they stuck with me and we finished up the year pretty strong."