Top ten run for Joey McCarthy ends five laps too soon. Joey McCarthy, driver of the Trim Spa Chevrolet for J.T. Mase MotorSports, came within five laps of recording his first top ten NASCAR Busch North Series finish since the season opening race...
Top ten run for Joey McCarthy ends five laps too soon.
Joey McCarthy, driver of the Trim Spa Chevrolet for J.T. Mase MotorSports, came within five laps of recording his first top ten NASCAR Busch North Series finish since the season opening race at Lee USA Speedway. A late accident, though, forced his retirement from the Waterford 150 and relegated him to a twentieth place finish.
The team, in only its third race together, has made impressive strides despite working with an older chassis. It confirmed this by placing McCarthy solidly in the starting field in ninth place, McCarthy's first ever top ten Busch North start.
"Practice was good, and we knew we had a good race car for the race," he said after time trials. "I just made sure I got in two good, smooth laps. The guys did a great job today, we're starting to get our act together and that makes life a lot easier at the race track. I got in two really good, smooth laps and the car felt good. The guys did a great job, this is the best qualifying run ever for us so I'm very happy with that.
"For the race I think we have a good car," McCarthy continued. "Last year we had an awesome car at the end, and that's what we're going to try to do today. It seems like we're running our best at the end, so hopefully if we can keep the car underneath us and stay on the lead lap, and we'll have a good race."
McCarthy did have a good race. Hanging around the top ten for the early laps, a turn two spin on lap 33 brought out the caution and put the Randolph, New Jersey driver at the tail end of the lead lap. He made it back to the top fifteen before the halfway mark, and was racing Dennis Demers for tenth on lap 90 of 150. A three-wide situation forced him high on the track and he lost five spots on the track, but he proved what a good car he had by driving right back to ninth spot with just fifteen laps to run.
McCarthy had just passed series champion Mike Olsen for eighth with just five laps to go when another competitor made contact with him and sent him into a spin. McCarthy spun up the track and was struck by a third car, doing significant damage to the Trim Spa Chevrolet. He drove the car to the pits with flat right-side tires and was forced to retire from the event. He was classified as twentieth in the final standings.
"The car was loose but it wasn't bad," he said after the race. "I like the track a lot and we had a good car all day. I was racing my butt off and I knew we had something here. We were running really well and we had something to go off of, until the wreck happened. It's all coming together, and we're getting there. We were running great. We're all happy, we would have had another top ten. But for a new team, we're running good, and we're really improving. To have a legitimate shot at a top ten finish in our third race is keeping us very upbeat. I'm pretty happy, we're looking good at the track, and we're getting somewhere. We'll keep on digging, and eventually things will work out. We'll keep our chin up and keep working, good things are coming."