Joey McCarthy Ties For Pole At Waterford; Finishes Race Tenth (Waterford, Conn. - July 23, 2005) - Joey McCarthy and Matt Kobyluck did something that may have never been done before in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series ...
Joey McCarthy Ties For Pole At Waterford; Finishes Race Tenth
(Waterford, Conn. - July 23, 2005) - Joey McCarthy and Matt Kobyluck did something that may have never been done before in NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch North Series competition: they turned identical lap times for the top spot in qualifying for Saturday's Town Fair Tire 150 at the Waterford Speedbowl. Kobyluck got the pole due to his higher points standing; McCarthy had to settle for second. In the race, McCarthy hung with Kobyluck until another competitor gave him a flat tire, forcing him to fight his way back only to be involved in a second incident that dropped him from sixth to tenth at the finish.
Third in practice, McCarthy stepped up his driving in qualifying, picking up two tenths in his No. 8 TechAir Chevrolet and setting a lap that was good enough for the Busch Pole Award. But Kobyluck turned the exact same time (15.035 seconds), and since he was higher in points he got the pole with McCarthy having to settle for second.
"I thought that staying in it was going to be enough to get the pole," he said. "I thought I had the pole, those were two perfect laps. And I got it, but we tied. I knew Matt put up an awesome lap so I knew I had to get an awesome lap as well, and I did. It was one of those deals where I got out of the car knowing that I couldn't have turned a better lap.
"It's almost first, and it's not really second," he continued. "The guys worked their tails off all week and all day. We're limited in our funds and the only way I can keep up anymore is to drive the wheels off the car and I just about did that in qualifying. But it still wasn't enough. Second's not bad. We just need a good run tonight, we really do. We've had a rough couple of weeks and it's time to get back to some kind of regularity where we're not making a lot of work for ourselves during the week. I need to get back into the top five, and I'd really like to steal a win somehow."
Despite falling to third on the race's initial start, McCarthy stayed in that position for the first two-thirds of the race, defending that position through five restarts and heavy pressure from Bryon Chew, Mike Olsen, and finally Andy Santerre. Santerre took third from McCarthy on the lap 107 restart but caution came out again quickly, and McCarthy briefly took third back from Santerre on the following restart. But while battling Santerre, the two made contact and that left McCarthy with a flat tire.
"I caught a bad break when Andy got into me," he said. "It knocked a valve stem off the wheel and gave me a flat tire."
Caution came out and McCarthy pitted where the STI Motorsports crew fitted a new tire and checked the car over for other damage. He returned to the race fourteenth with the entire field in front of him. He made quick work of the back half of the field to come to eleventh, clear of lapped traffic, and in the brief stretches of green-flag racing that followed he got all the way to sixth with just fifteen laps to go. But his troubles weren't over yet, as inside ten to go Mike Johnson got into the back of Sean Caisse, who was pushed into McCarthy entering turn one, forcing McCarthy up and out of the groove and back in the field. There were no more cautions for the balance of the event, so he couldn't get closed up to try and make another run at the top five. He finished tenth.
"I think we had a first or second place car, but we got that flat tire," he said. "Then we were a victim of someone else's aggression when Mike ran into Sean and that pretty much ended our quest to get back into the top-five, which was looking pretty good up to that point. All in all we did a good job. We had a fast car, and that's the point of racing is to come to the track with a fast car. Hopefully we'll improve from that point on.
"We got the car working pretty good," McCarthy continued. "We tried a couple new things that seemed to work better, and we should be able to use what we learned at the bigger tracks. The damage looks like it's just cosmetic, so we don't have to worry about fixing anything underneath. We just don't seem to be able to catch a break with some of these guys. There's not a mark on my front bumper, but there aren't too many guys here who can say the same thing."
Waterford's race was taped for broadcast on SpeedTV to air this Friday at 2:00 p.m. McCarthy will be back in the race car the next day, racing in the next Busch North Series race at Adirondack International Speedway in Beaver Falls, N.Y.