McFarland and Navy Team Travel to Darlington Raceway Darlington Notes * On Friday, NASCAR Busch Series driver Mark McFarland will drive the JR Motorsports No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the Diamond Hill ...
McFarland and Navy Team Travel to Darlington Raceway
* On Friday, NASCAR Busch Series driver Mark McFarland will drive the JR Motorsports No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 at Darlington Raceway.
* Friday's race will mark McFarland's first visit to Darlington Raceway. It is one of several tracks the rookie driver has never competed on.
* The team is bringing chassis No. 018 to the track this week. This car was the fastest in practice at Bristol Motor Speedway in March. Qualifying was snowed out, so McFarland started the race from 19th position and finished 31st after the crew had to replace the radiator when he was involved in a multi-car accident.
* McFarland and the JR Motorsports team picked up their best-ever finish of seventh two weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway. The run also marked the team and driver's first-ever top 10 as well.
Mark McFarland, Driver of No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
"I've never been to Darlington before, but the one thing I've heard from just about everyone is that saving tires is the key to success there. I'll just need to focus on not wearing out my tires at the start of a run so that I can run better toward the end."
What has been the biggest help in your rookie season in the Busch Series?
"It can be tough being a rookie driver and going to some of the tracks on the circuit like Darlington, but so far I've found that just talking to some of the other drivers can be a big help. Dale Jr. and I usually go over stuff at some point during the week before we head to the track. The rookie meetings with 1994 Busch Series Champion David Green are also really helpful. He's raced these cars for a lot of years and is always willing to help out the younger drivers."
How is your year going so far?
"We've struggled some as a new team with a rookie driver, but we've definitely come a long way since we started the year at Daytona. We grabbed our first top-10 finish at Talladega the other week and we had a pretty good run going last week at Richmond. It looked like we were going to come home with another top-10 finish, but I guess it wasn't meant to be. Instead we were taken out of contention by another driver and got to go home and cut the front clip off of the car. We're still learning a lot each week, and I'm sure we'll be contending for more top 10s on a regular basis."
Rich Hubbs, Crew Chief of No. 88 Navy Accelerate Your Life Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS
"I'd say Darlington is one of the hardest tracks for a rookie driver to run well at because it can be hard to get a rookie to pace himself and not wear out his tires early in a run. The track is notorious for being tough on cars, tires and drivers, so we'll have to remind Mark to take it easy and save his tires so we'll be better on longer runs."
* The fleet honoree for Friday's race at Darlington Raceway is the VF 213 Fighting Blacklions, assigned to Carrier Air Wing Eight. The Fighting Blacklions on VF 213 were commissioned as a Navy Fighter squadron at NAS Moffett Field in 1955. The VF 213 is currently representing the F-14 Tomcat community as one of the last two squadrons in existence. The Blacklions are currently on deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.