McFarland Comes Up Just Short Of NASCAR Busch East Victory At NHIS You couldn't have faulted Mark McFarland if he was practicing his winner's speech with just a handful of laps remaining in the Aubuchon Hardware 125. Leading by more almost an...
McFarland Comes Up Just Short Of NASCAR Busch East Victory At NHIS
You couldn't have faulted Mark McFarland if he was practicing his winner's speech with just a handful of laps remaining in the Aubuchon Hardware 125. Leading by more almost an entire straightaway on the New Hampshire International Speedway one-mile oval, the Winchester, VA racer had all but sewed up the win in his first NASCAR Busch East Seriesvictory this season.
"We were just out there cruising around and I could almost see the checkered flag," said McFarland. "Unfortunately, as soon as that late caution came out, I know we were in trouble."
McFarland (right) hadn't experienced a bit of trouble throughout the weekend, having qualified his No. 81 Knight's Companies/Greased Lightning Chevrolet Monte Carlo fifth in the 34-car starting field. Early in the event, the USAR Hooters Pro Cup star served notice he'd be in the mix the entire race rolling up to second place before the first round of pit stops.
"We were a little tight early in the race, so we just rode it out trying to make it to the pit stop," McFarland stated. "We freed the car up quite a bit after the stop and it took right off. We ran down the leader Joey Logano, passed himand put about a straightaway lead on him. Things were looking pretty good then."
The late caution, flying on Lap 115 of the 125 circuit event, proved to be McFarland's undoing.
"We weren't very good on restarts," said McFarland. "For some reason, it took about five or six laps for the car to come in. When the caution came out with just under 10 laps to go, I knew we might be in trouble. Sure enough, the car didn't take off very well and Logano got around us for the lead. Then, to make matters worse, we were battling for second place and got shoved up into the wall coming off of Turn 2. That pretty much ended our day."
McFarland limped around the final laps, finishing 22nd in the final running order. While disappointed with coming so close to winning the race only to falter at the finish, McFarland was still pleased with the results.
"We probably should have won the race, but I guess it wasn't our day," said McFarland. "I'm very proud of this Pete Knight Racing team. They did a great job, especially considering that's the first time they ever raced in New Hampshire or in that division. We have a really good team and it sure showed there."
McFarland and his Pete Knight Racing mates will now return to USAR Hooters Pro Cup action this weekend in the Soy Biodiesel 225 at Iowa Speedway on Saturday, September 22. The second of five USAR Championship Series events will take the green flag at 7 p.m. Central Time.
"We're still in good shape in the championship point's race," said McFarland, sixth in the championship standings. "We're going to a track (Iowa Speedway) where we did the tire test for B.F. Goodrich test. We were pretty good during the test and we get another test day the day before the race to make sure we have things right. We should be really good."