Joey McCarthy's Thompson Race slowed by late-race accident; finishes 24th Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driving of the No. 22 TrustCompany Bank for J.T. Mase MotorSports in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, saw his...
Joey McCarthy's Thompson Race slowed by late-race accident; finishes 24th
Randolph, New Jersey's Joey McCarthy, driving of the No. 22 TrustCompany Bank for J.T. Mase MotorSports in the NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series, saw his top-ten run at Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway take a turn for the worse when a tangle with another car forced his into the frontstretch wall, causing damage that slowed his car for the balance of the event, forcing him to settle for a 24th-place finish.
Coming off his first Busch North win two weeks ago at Holland International Speedway, McCarthy did not let his recent successes go to his head.
"We just have to keep our heads screwed on straight and pretend that we're still going for our first win," he said. "We want to do the best we can at this, so we're going to stay focused and try to do it again. If we can't we'll shoot for a good top ten finish, we'll be happy with that."
Taking on Thompson, where McCarthy scored his first Busch North top ten finish in the 2001 season, McCarthy was fifth in the afternoon practice and optimistic heading into qualifying. There, he posted the ninth fastest time.
"The car handled pretty good right off the truck," he said before the race. "I'm happy with the car, it's just that we didn't pick up as much as some of the other guys in qualifying. I'm pretty optimistic about the race. We're going to leave the car alone and see what happens. We'll probably have to stop to take on tires and fuel, so hopefully we'll be able to make an adjustment if it's necessary along the way."
Settling into tenth place in the race's early laps, McCarthy was setting himself up for his pit stop. He pulled out of line from eighth place under caution on lap 50 and brought his car to the attention to the J.T. Mase MotorSports crew. They fired on fresh right-side tires and returned him to the race in sixteenth position.
Negotiating traffic got the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet up to twelfth just a few laps after the race returned to green. He was knocking on the door of the top ten on lap 116 when he and another car got together on the frontstretch, turning McCarthy's car into the outside wall and doing damage to its right side. Under caution, he brought the car to pit road where the right front tire was replaced and repairs were made, while staying on the lead lap. But the damage was too severe for McCarthy to continue at full speed, and he limped to the finish in 24th.
"It was a tough race," he said afterwards. "But the TrustCompany Bank Chevrolet ran great today. We didn't have the best car, but we had a decent car. We were just picking our way through, and I think I could have gained a lot of spots at the end there. The car wasn't right. I think we were a top ten car. All in all it wasn't too bad, we'll just get them next week at Loudon.
"It was just an accident," he said of the on-track incident. "All in all it was a good day, the team's got a lot of potential and we're going to keep trucking into next week."
McCarthy will look to return to form next week at the one-mile New Hampshire International Speedway, where he qualified fifth last September.
"We've got a brand new car for Loudon, and we're really excited about it," he said. "We've got a brand new motor too. We didn't get a chance to test it yet, but we've got a lot of talent on this team and we'll get it to work and have a good run up there."