USAR: Hickory: Mark McFarland preview

While some teams used the week off between USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division events relax a bit, Mark McFarland and his Pete Knight Racing team have been at full throttle preparing for the remaining events on the 2007 schedule. "We'll be ...

While some teams used the week off between USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division events relax a bit, Mark McFarland and his Pete Knight Racing team have been at full throttle preparing for the remaining events on the 2007 schedule.

"We'll be doing a B.F. Goodrich Tire test at Iowa during this break," said McFarland (right), driver of the No. 81 Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevrolet Monte Carlo. "I think that's going to help us a lot when we go back there for the championship race later this season. We'll be able to gain some knowledge about the track and what it's going to take to run good there. That's a major plus for us and I'm looking forward to it."

Currently second in the USAR Pro Cup Southern Division regular season standings behind Michael Ritch, it's easy to see why the driver is looking forward to the five Championship Series events. Then again, he and his PKR team aren't discounting the two remaining Southern Division regular season races, especially the next event on the calendar -- the Aaron's 250 this Saturday evening at Hickory Motor Speedway.

"Hickory is a small, demanding track," McFarland stated. "You just have to be patient there because it's a long race -- 250 laps is a long race anywhere - but especially long at Hickory. The whole goal will be to come out of Hickory with a good finish and close the gap on Michael (Ritch) in the point's championship standings. If we can do that, we'll be real happy."

To make those gains, McFarland knows there will be two critical elements to finishing well at Hickory. One will be to keep the fenders on and the tires up on his Knights Companies/Greased Lightning racer. The other will be race management.

"It's pretty hard to stay out of trouble at Hickory," said McFarland. "We've been fortunate to be able to do that over the past couple of races. We'll just try to do our best to achieve that again at Hickory. Track position is also very critical there, so we'll try to qualify near the front and stay there. The tire B.F. Goodrich is bringing there is very good -- it doesn't fall off any -- so you can come in and pit early and still be good at the end of the race. If I were to make a prediction, I would say pit strategy will be the key to winning that race."

McFarland and his No. 81 Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevy will take the green flag in the Aaron's 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway Saturday, August 4 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

Highlights of the event can be seen Wednesday, August 8, on The SPEED Channel. Airtime is 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland