USAR: Hickory: Mark McFarland preview

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking To Regain USAR Hooters Pro Cup Winning Touch At Hickory This Weekend Pete Knight Racing Driver Ready To Start New Hot Streak After Disappointing Finish At Jennerstown Mooresville, NC (July 29, 2008) --...

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking To Regain USAR Hooters Pro Cup Winning Touch At Hickory This Weekend
Pete Knight Racing Driver Ready To Start New Hot Streak After Disappointing Finish At Jennerstown

Mooresville, NC (July 29, 2008) -- Mark McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Racing Chevy will try to recapture that winning feeling when they take the green flag in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup 4 Brothers 250 at Hickory (NC) Motor Speedway this Saturday.

"I'd really like to win at Hickory, it's a special place to race," said McFarland, who is coming off a 26th-place finish in his most recent USAR event at Jennerstown, PA last weekend . "It's pretty much our home track. I live about 30 minutes from there and Wes Ward, my crew chief, doesn't live much more than 10 minutes from there. There have been a lot of legends that have raced at Hickory. There's a board out front with their names on it and Wes' name is one of them. I'd really like to win that race for him and the rest of this Pete Knight Racing team. We're going there to have some fun and get a win or a good finish."

McFarland has been having all kinds of fun this season winning USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division events at Milwaukee (WI), Myrtle Beach (SC) and Kenly (NC). The Winchester, VA driver has competed in nine USAR Southern and Northern events this year qualifying in the top-10 in all races (two poles and a 3.88 qualifying average) and has posted a 1.83 finishing average in the six races he's been running at the finish (three DNF's).

Prior to the Jennerstown race - where he retired on Lap 166 with engine problems - McFarland had finished no worse than second in his last five USAR Hooters Pro Cup events.

"We were just waiting for the pit stops to make the car better," said of last weekend's Jennerstown event where he was again running in the top-five when he experienced the engine issues. "Then the motor started to go south and we hung on as long as we could. Ultimately, we just decided to pull in before we completely blew it up."

McFarland will be looking to do much better this weekend when he takes the green flag at Hickory. Last year, McFarland's No. 81s PKR entry qualified sixth and had marched right to the front at Hickory before mechanical gremlins put him on the trailer with a 31st-place finish after just 127 laps.

"We had just taken the lead when we had an engine problem," said McFarland. "It was a good race for us and we're taking the same car back there that we ran last season. We expect to run up front again, but this time we plan to be there at the finish."

To do that, McFarland -- the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division championship point's leader - will have to master the tight .363-mile Hickory Motor Speedway oval. Opened in 1951, the track has seen several revisions but none in recent years making it a hard place to get traction at according to McFarland.

"Hickory is really worn out," McFarland stated. 'It's very hard on tires and they will fall off as usual. It's not quite as bad as Myrtle Beach, but you have to race it like that. You really have to take care of your tires and be there at the end. That's especially true for us. We have to finish the race and get as many points as we can. We're going there to win, but if we can't do that, we want a good finish."

McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Racing Chevy will try to accomplish those goals when they take the green flag in the 4 Brothers 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway this Saturday, August 2. The green flag is set to fly at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland