FULL SLATE FOR MCFARLAND, PETE KNIGHT RACING IN 2008
MOORESVILLE, NC (December 21, 2007) - Several new initiatives, including an expanded racing schedule, a crew chief change, and a change of address are on tap for Mark McFarland and Pete Knight Racing in 2008.
"We're looking forward to a great season," said McFarland, who wheeled Knight's No. 81 Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a third-place finish in the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series championship standings. "We feel like we made a lot of good decisions over the off-season so far. We've fixed the stuff we can control and we think we've gone in the right direction on the stuff we can't control. We've put some pretty good personnel in place, have a new shop with a convenient location, and we're ready to go. Everybody is pumped."
In addition to new crew chief, veteran NASCAR racer Wes Ward, and a gleaming new shop in Mooresville, NC, McFarland indicated the team is going to be on track more this year than in past seasons.
"We're going to have a pretty full schedule," said McFarland. "We're going to run 16 Hooters Cup races. We'll be registered in the Southern Division, so we'll run all of those plus we'll run all but two of the Northern Division races and all of the Championship events as well.
"We'll also compete in four NASCAR Busch East races in 2008 -- Iowa, the two New Hampshire races, and South Georgia," McFarland continued. "It's a bit busier than we were last season, but we want to expand our race team and this is a good way to do it. We're going to have a full fleet of cars -- four Hooters car and two Busch East cars. So we have a lot of good equipment to work and race with."
That could be trouble for the competition as McFarland's racing iron was more than competitive last year scoring a pair of Hooters Pro Cup wins -- both in the Northern Division -- and notching seven Top-5 and 10 Top-10 USAR finishes. McFarland also won a pair of poles and qualified in the Top-3 in eight events last season.
"We had more luck in the Northern Division than we did in the South last year," said McFarland. "We had some unexpected mechanical problems in the South last year. It seemed like whatever could happen happened. Hopefully, we've got those problems behind us this year."
This year, McFarland will return with a full stable of Chevrolet Monte Carlos -- equally divided between Laughlin and Levitt chassis - at his disposal as he tries to win the USAR Southern Division and overall championships
"I've had Levitt cars in the past and had really good luck with them," said McFarland. "Wes has a lot of experience with Levitt cars in the past and that's what he wanted too, so we'll have a brand new one of those. We'll have some good notes from our Hooters cars to transfer to our Busch East cars, so we're pretty excited about the upcoming season."
McFarland will also have the benefit of a set of new bullets under the hood thanks to a change in his Pro Cup engine program.
"We'll be using a new engine builder in Pro Cup this year -- Volunteer Performance in Pigeon Forge, TN," said McFarland. "We have a lot of confidence in them. They are a big Super Late Model engine supplier and they built some Pro Cup engines to get their feet wet in the series last year. They definitely seem to have it figured out. We've been testing their engines the last month or so and we feel like that's the way to go in Pro Cup.
"In the Busch East Division, we'll still be running Automotive Specialties engines," McFarland continued. "They do a great job on those engines. It's a good plan and I'm confident it's going to work."
In the end, McFarland is confident his Pete Knight Racing team is going to be more formidable than ever in 2008. "We had a good year last year, a lot of teams would have been happy with it," said McFarland.
"We were happy, but it just wasn't what we had hoped for. We've taken some big steps to do better than that in 2008 and I'm sure they are going to pay off."