Mark McFarland and the No. 88 Navy team will be making their first ever road course start when the NASCAR Busch Series rolls into the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City for the Motorola-Telcel 200. It has been ten years since McFarland...
Mark McFarland and the No. 88 Navy team will be making their first ever road course start when the NASCAR Busch Series rolls into the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez in Mexico City for the Motorola-Telcel 200. It has been ten years since McFarland has participated in a road course race and that was in his WKA go-karting days. The team has immersed McFarland in the many different facets of road course racing and they are in great shape heading into what will already be the third different type of track in the young season.
Mark on his first road course race since his go-kart days:
"I am really looking forward to going down to Mexico City. We bought last year's winning car from Chance 2 and we had a great test in Kershaw, SC (Carolina Motorsports Park) so we expect to put a good run together. I also went out to Bondurant in January and learned a ton about down-shifting and target fixation, things you don't necessarily have to think about on an oval."
"I spoke with Martin (Truex, Jr.) about the track and he said it has a lot of short track corners and there is a lot of braking. He gave me some pointers about the shifting points and what gear to be in at certain parts of the track. Having last years winner giving you tips is a huge help and I can't thank him, and Dale Jr., enough."
Mark on his flight with the Navy Blue Angels this past Monday:
"That was one of the greatest things I have ever done. You pull so many G-forces that you feel like you are going to pass out, but those Navy pilots are up there in complete control." "When you are around the pilots and their crew you can't help but notice how much they are like our race team. Each plane has it's own crew with a crew chief. They actually have a 'pit crew' that follows the planes out to the runway in case they need to fix something quickly. It's really pretty amazing."
Crew chief Rich Hubbs on three different types of tracks in the first three
"The first month of the schedule is brutal. It is hard for a new team to build two speedway cars, two intermediate cars and two road course cars right out of the box. Our biggest goal at the beginning of the year is to make all five races, finish the races and get Mark some seat time. When the sixth race comes around we want to have a guaranteed spot."
Team engineer Derek Jones on the challenges that Mexico City presents:
"Well Mexico City is 7,400 feet above sea level and that definitely affects the engines and downforce, but it's the same for everyone." "The biggest challenge is the fact that you have so many drivers that are entered in the race that have a lot of experience on that track. Mark is a rookie and has never raced a stock car on a road course, but he picked up on it very quickly in Kershaw, SC. He actually ran his fastest lap on his second full-course lap, so that shows how' quick he can adapt."
The Fleet Honoree for the Telcel-Motorola 200 will be the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command. The Navy Recruiting Command mission statement is to recruit the best quality men and women from the diverse population of our country to fill the Navy's ranks and focus on the outcomes by (1) Executing best business practices and (2) Maintaining and effective, motivated integrated active and reserve recuiting force.
Noting the Navy
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. 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.