USAR: Hickory: Southern Division round seven preview

Historic Hickory Up Next Aaron's 250 to showcase tight field, competition Myrtle Beach, S.C.--Hickory Motor Speedway is steeped in racing history. In the heyday of short tracks, the best racing had to offer would descend on the tight, .363-mile...

Historic Hickory Up Next
Aaron's 250 to showcase tight field, competition

Myrtle Beach, S.C.--Hickory Motor Speedway is steeped in racing history. In the heyday of short tracks, the best racing had to offer would descend on the tight, .363-mile track to prove who the best was.

While the landscape of racing has changed over the years, the Aaron's 250 presented by Ingles on Saturday, August 4 will prove that the lore of Hickory still remains intact among short-track greats. And nearly 50 of the best will be trying to add their name to list of winners at the 56-year-old facility.

"Winning at Hickory would mean a lot," said Mark McFarland, driver of the No. 81 Knight's Companies Chevrolet. "There's so much history surrounding that track, but it's pretty hard to stay out of trouble there."

Though the tight confines may lead you to believe that winning at Hickory is as much luck as skill, the record books state otherwise.

The last eight winners at HMS are Hooters Pro Cup Champions. All told, nine of the 11 Pro Cup races held at the facility have been won by drivers that have championship hardware. Michael Ritch doesn't have a championship trophy yet, but a win at Hickory could put him on the way to one.

"I think we'll be good," said Ritch, driver of the No. 28 Naturally Fresh/Jackaroo Ford. "Not many people thought I could run the low line at Southern National and win, but we did. Our car has been good everywhere, but I know I can run the high line at Hickory and be successful."

Despite being the point leader, Ritch finds himself in the enviable position of not having to point race after stretching his lead to 137 over McFarland with his win at SNRP.

McFarland, on the other hand, is only 100 points ahead of Wade Day, who sits 12th in points, so staying out of trouble is paramount for his championship hopes.

"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."

The Aaron's 250 at Hickory Motor Speedway is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start on Saturday, August 4. Front gates will open for the public at 3:30 p.m.

Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying will start at 4:45 p.m. and be followed by a 50-lap Allison Legacy Series event at 5:30 p.m. The Wraps INK Autograph Session will start at 6:45 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies start at 7:30 p.m.

***

2007 USAR HOOTERS PRO CUP SERIES QUICK FACTS FOR THE AARON'S SOUTHERN DIVISION

WHAT: Aaron's 250 presented by Ingles

WHERE:                  Hickory Motor Speedway, Hickory, NC

.363-mile, semi-banked asphalt oval

WHEN: Saturday August 4, 2007

DISTANCE: 250 Laps / 90.75 Miles

POSTED AWARDS: $122,670

STARTING FIELD: 32 car starting field - 34 cars possible - Fastest 28 cars through time trials -- two provisional positions from 2007 Southern Division top- 30 Driver Points Standings and two provisional positions from 2007 Southern Division top-30 Owner points Standing. One provisional for past Champion and past "Rookie of the Year" (if necessary)

TELEVISION: SPEED Channel
Wednesday August 15, 2007 (4 p.m. ET)
Friday, August 17, 2007 (12 Noon ET)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday August 4, 2007:
12:00 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begin
2:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
2:45- 3:15pm Allison Legacy Series Practice
3:30 pm Front Gate Opens
3:45 pm Allison Legacy Series Qualifying
4:45 pm Awesome Awnings Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
5:30 pm Allison Legacy Series Race -- 50 laps
6:45 pm Wraps Ink on track Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
7:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the Aaron's 250
8:00 p.m. Aaron's 250

-credit: usar

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland