Engine Woes Park McFarland At Bristol, Mansfield With one of the fastest cars at the track, Mark McFarland was looking forward to a good finish and maybe even a win in the Food City 150 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division season finale at ...
Engine Woes Park McFarland At Bristol, Mansfield
With one of the fastest cars at the track, Mark McFarland was looking forward to a good finish and maybe even a win in the Food City 150 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway.
For the third consecutive race, however, McFarland's No. 81 Knights Racing/Greased Lightning Monte Carlo (right) had engine problems while running up front. That saddled the Winchester, VA native with a 36th-place finish and a disappointing end to the USAR Pro Cup regular season.
"We had a fast car, much better than the one that we tested with at Bristol a week or so earlier," said McFarland. "It was disappointing to drop out while leading, but you can't do anything about that. They guys on this Pete Knight Racing team did a great job, we just have an engine problem that we need to get figured out."
McFarland was plenty fast in his red and white Chevy taking top honors in practice for the event on the newly resurfaced, high-banked Bristol .533-mile oval turning in a time of 15.713 seconds (122.115 miles per hour).
Later in the heat of the day, McFarland backed it up with a 16.015-second clocking, good enough for third in the starting field.
"The car was just excellent," said McFarland. "It has been every race, especially the last three. We just don't have any finishes to show for it."
McFarland showed plenty early taking the lead on Lap 6. It was a flame that burned brightly, but short, as McFarland was behind the wall and done for the night just a handful of laps later.
"The engine just shut off under caution," said McFarland. "We thought it might be the distributor or the cam, and when we couldn't get the distributor off on pit road, we knew we were sunk."
The 36th-place effort dropped McFarland to seventh in the final USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division standings. The mechanical problems also prevented McFarland from competing in his first NASCAR Busch East Series race this season scheduled for later this past weekend at Mansfield, OH.
"We hated not going to that race, but with all the engine problems we've been having, we just decided it was best to get our engine stuff resolved before the Pro Cup championship series," said McFarland, shown left with crew chief Chris Greenhill.b^0x001cWe're probably going to try a different engine builder for the Mansfield Hooters race this coming weekend and see if that solves it."
The first of five USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship series races is set for this Saturday, September 1, at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway. The green flag at is set to fly at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and highlights of the event can be seen on The SPEED Channel on Wednesday, September 5, at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.
"We're looking forward to going to Mansfield," said McFarland. "We won a Pro Cup Northern Division race there earlier this year and there is no one giving up on this team. We have great equipment and we still have a shot at the Pro Cup championship. It will be interesting to see what happens."