Running in the second position midway through the Aaron's 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway, Mark [Profile%20left.jpg] McFarland was feeling pretty good about his chances of a win or another top USAR Hooters Pro Cup finish. Unfortunately, that...
Running in the second position midway through the Aaron's 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway, Mark [Profile%20left.jpg] McFarland was feeling pretty good about his chances of a win or another top USAR Hooters Pro Cup finish.
Unfortunately, that wasn't in the cards for the driver of the No. 81 Knights Racing/Greased Lightning Chevrolet Monte Carlo as engine failure just a handful of laps later saddled the Winchester, VA driver with a 31st-place finish.
"We thought we had a pretty good car," said McFarland. "We lost an engine, the second one this week. We also lost one in testing at Iowa. I don't know if it's a parts failure or what, but it just dropped down to seven cylinders and then it finally just broke. We're thinking it was probably a push rod because that's what broke in the other engine. It's disappointing because I thought we were going to be able to compete for the win."
McFarland's Chevy quickly proved it was among the cars to beat in the next to last USAR Southern Division regular season event heading the top of the practice charts Saturday afternoon with a lap of 15.267 seconds (85.596 miles per hour) on the tight Hickory oval. In qualifying, McFarland ran a near identical 15.268 effort, good enough for sixth starting position in the 33-car lineup.
At the drop of the green flag, McFarland steered his red and white Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevy toward the front settling into the third spot for the first 100 circuits. By the halfway point, he had moved into second and was closing on leader Trevor Bayne when his engine soured. A pit stop under caution just a handful of laps later on the 133rd circuit indicated the team was done for the evening.
"We missed an opportunity to pick up some points on Michael (Ritch)," said McFarland, who was second in the USAR Southern Division standings heading into the race. "It would have been nice to come out of here with a Top-5 finish. Then we might have had a shot at him and the regular season championship, but I don't think we're going to be able to do that now.
"We'll just have to go to Bristol and do the best we can," McFarland concluded. "I have a lot of experience there and hopefully, we'll have a car that will hook up to the new surface there. We hope to do well there and we're looking forward to the championship series. We just have to get some luck on our side."