McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Still Looking To Contend For USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Driver Of The No. 81s Chevy Hopes To Overcome Bad Luck Suffered In First Two Races This Season With Solid Run at Concord This Weekend Mooresville,...
McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Still Looking To Contend For USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship
Driver Of The No. 81s Chevy Hopes To Overcome Bad Luck Suffered In First Two Races This Season With Solid Run at Concord This Weekend
Mooresville, NC (April 22, 2008) -- Late-race problems in the first two events of the season have left Mark McFarland mired in 21st-place in the 2008 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series Southern Division point standings. Despite the slow start, the driver of the No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Companies Chevrolet Monte Carlo is still confident that he can be a factor in the Pro Cup title chase this season.
"I think we can still contend for the championship," stated McFarland, who will return to action this Saturday in the Racing Electronics 250 at Concord (NC) Motorsports Park. "We pretty much started out the same way last year dropping out at Lakeland and we cut down a tire and finished 11th at South Georgia in the second race of the season. We were a little bit behind last year and we still wound up third in the championship. We're behind again this year, so we really need to have a good run at Concord to get back in the thick of the championship race."
If the first two races of the season are any indication, McFarland should be the man to beat at Concord this weekend. The Winchester, VA driver won the pole position at both Lakeland, FL and Valdosta, GA (left) as well as led a good portion of both events only to come up short of Victory Lane. According to PKR crew chief Wes Ward, McFarland and the team will be looking to qualify and run up front again, but this time, seal the deal at Concord.
"We've just had a little bad luck in the first two events," said Ward. "We've got really fast cars, been well prepared for each event and really, we've won everything you can but the races. We've been on top of the board in practice and qualifying in both races. We just have to finish these races. We still have some things that we can clean up and be better at, but I feel that we'll be in good shape when we roll off the trailer at Concord."
Last year, McFarland qualified ninth and finished 24th in the USAR event at Concord. The tricky half-mile oval with a dogleg in the backstretch is one of the most challenging on the USAR tour according to the veteran driver.
"I love the track despite its shape," said McFarland. "It's very challenging with three different turns. It's a much different layout than any other place we race at. We're going to be able to test there the Thursday before the race, so I know that we're going to be ready."
Being ready will be the last thing McFarland will have to worry about when he takes the [Lakeland%20Pit%20Stop%2011.jpg] green flag at Concord Saturday. A win, or Top-5 run there would go a long way toward getting the team in position to contend for the championship once the title events come around.
"While the regular season is important, it's really all about the championship races at the end of the year," Ward stated. "We think we're going to win some races this year, but we're working to have our stuff in order when the championship events roll around."
"I know we're going to win races this year," McFarland added. "Every team goes through some bumps in the road and the first two races this season have been that way for us. Wes is a great leader and motivator and I know that he is going to keep everyone going in the right direction."
McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Tire Center Chevy will take the green flag at Concord Motorsports Park Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time.