JR Motorsports will continue its freshman campaign when the NASCAR Busch Series heads to the California Speedway for this weekend's Stater Bros. 300. Driver Mark McFarland is coming off a 22nd place finish in the season opener at Daytona and will be looking to build on the team's solid start. With no 2005 owner points to fall back on the No. 88 Navy team will once again have to qualify for the race on time.
Mark on the car that the team is taking to California:
"We are taking our JRM #014 chassis and it is my favorite car. If it runs as well as it did at the Las Vegas test I'll be happy and we should get a good finish. Then we will turn it around and get it ready to go back to Vegas in a couple of weeks."
Mark on having to qualify for the race on time:
"I am going to be more nervous about this qualifying session than the one at Daytona because it is more in the drivers' hands. My team gives me great Navy Monte Carlos to drive so it will be on me to put it in the show."
"The real downside to having no points is the fact that these are impound races. You have to set the car up to make sure you make the race and usually, as in the Daytona race, you start the race too tight and you have to keep freeing it up during pit stops. But we'll make it work."
Mark on his preparation for California, another new track to him:
"Obviously track time will be the main thing for me because I have never even laid eyes on the track. We get the rookie practice and that has been really helpful so far this season in getting myself and the Navy Monte Carlos dialed in."
"But I have started racing online with Dale Jr. (team owner) and it is amazing how much information you can pick up by doing that. You can get all of your points down and even pick up the bumps in the track. If you look at the guys who use online racing, they are all front runners just about every week so I am definitely going to use that as a tool for me this year."
Rich Hubbs, crew chief, on his California experience:
"In the past the California races have come down to fuel mileage and I have no reason to think they won't this year. It is a great track for a rookie because it is multi-grooved so you can search around for where you car works the best. It also has a big pit road that makes it very easy to get on and off."
Derek Jones, team engineer, on the team's outlook for California:
"Based on the succes of our Las Vegas test we are all looking forward to this race. Mark will have a learning curve to go through, but he has shown a quick adaptation to these cars already." "Our pit crew gave us some great stops in Daytona, they picked us up several spots on a couple of our stops. If we can keep gelling as a team we are going to be fine."
The Fleet Honoree for the Stater Bros. 300 will be the USS John C. Stennis CVN 74. The USS John C. Stennis CVN 74 is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier in the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy. Named for former U.S. Senator John C. Stennis, the aircraft carrier is undergoing an equipment and technology upgrade that, when completed, will make the USS John C. Stennis CVN 74 the most technologically advanced and tallest carrier in the U.S. Pacific Fleet. The Navy has used its association with NASCAR over the past two years to increase America's awareness of the opportunities to serve our great country.
Noting the Navy
The Navy is very excited about further increasing its awareness through NASCAR in 2006 by an association with JR Motorsports as they exemplify the Navy's commitment to grow and develop quality young sailors through service in the Navy.