USAR: Lakeland CS: Mark McFarland race report

Mark McFarland closed out the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup season in style rolling home fourth in the Aaron's 250 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. The Top-5 finish boosted the Winchester, VA driver and his No.81 Knight's ...

Mark McFarland closed out the 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup season in style rolling home fourth in the Aaron's 250 at USA International Speedway in Lakeland, FL. The Top-5 finish boosted the Winchester, VA driver and his No.81 Knight's Companies/Greased Lightning Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a solid third-place finish in the final 2007 USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship standings.

"We got up to third and settled for fourth," said McFarland of the Lakeland effort. "We got passed on the last lap. James Buescher just squeaked by me at the finish. It was still a good finish and we managed to get up to third in the points. All in all, it was a good weekend."

As has been the case throughout the season, McFarland and his Pete Knight Racing team were among the leaders in practice and qualifying Saturday as they rolled to a lap of 21.489 seconds in time trials -- good enough for third in the 36-car starting field.

McFarland managed to steer clear of a number of early cautions as he positioned his red, white and blue No. 81 near or at the front of the pack for the first half of the race.

"We took the lead about Lap 80 and led past halfway," said McFarland. "We came in and got tires and fuel and came back out in the 18th. Everybody else had pitted earlier, but we stayed out to get the bonus points for leading at halfway and leading the most laps. That made it tough to get back to the front and realistically, our strategy probably cost us the race because we just couldn't get all the way back to the front."

The top Lakeland effort closed out a successful season for McFarland -- a year in which he won a pair of USAR events.

"We had a good year," McFarland stated. "If we hadn't have had some bad luck, I think we could have had a shot at winning the championship. We came fairly close anyway. The team raced good all year. We could have been a little better in certain areas. For our first year together, things went really well.

"We're hoping to get our 2008 plans together in the next week," McFarland continued. "I'm looking forward to coming back and driving for Pete. We're hoping to do some more stuff other than just Hooters Pro Cup. It all depends on what sponsorship comes in."

-credit: www.greased-lightning.com.

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Series STOCKCAR