USAR: Southern CS: Mark McFarland preview

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking For Return To Victory Lane At Southern National Pete Knight Racing Driver Among Favorites In USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Event This Weekend Mooresville, NC (October 13, 2008) -- The last time...

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking For Return To Victory Lane At Southern National
Pete Knight Racing Driver Among Favorites In USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Event This Weekend

Mooresville, NC (October 13, 2008) -- The last time Mark McFarland visited Southern National Raceway Park, he wheeled his No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevy to a win in the Crane Cams 250 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division event.

This Saturday, the Pete Knight Racing driver would like nothing better than to see history repeat itself as the division chugs into the Kenly, NC track for the third of four USAR championship events.

"That would be awesome," said McFarland said when asked about a repeat victory. "I know we are going to be prepared to win again. We're going to test there on our own this Thursday and then test again Friday with the rest of the Hooters cars. Those two days of testing should really help, especially considering I think we'll be pretty close to where we need to be when we unload. We're going to use the same set-up package we won the last time we won there and I'm sure we'll experiment some too. The main thing will be to have track position at the end of the race and be able to go the whole way on fuel because that seems to be key to winning these races lately."

McFarland has had a stout start to the 2008 USAR championship playoff finishing second behind Benny Gordon in the first two races of the series. In the most recent event - the Alan Kulwicki Memorial 250 at Iowa Speedway on September 20 -- McFarland missed taking the checkered flag first by a scant 0.324 seconds. McFarland also finished right on Gordon's bumper in the Charlie Campbell Memorial Sears Auto Center 250, the first race of the 2008 USAR title chase at Mansfield, OH.

McFarland now trails Gordon in the USAR Championship Series by 45 points (550-505) with two races remaining in the title chase.

"Finishing second would be okay if the same guy didn't finish in front of us in both those races and now lead us in the points," stated McFarland. "That part of it can get frustrating if you let it because we want to win. We're not letting it get us down because we have a strong team and everyone is working harder than ever. Southern National has been a good track for us in the past and we're hoping to go there and win again instead of running second."

To win this time around, McFarland will have to again master the high-speed Southern National oval. The track, which measures four-tenths of a mile and features 17-degree banking in the corners, is one of the most challenging on the USAR circuit according to McFarland.

"The problem at Southern National is that if you get your car turning good in the center of the corner, you are probably going to be loose coming off of it," said McFarland, a Winchester, VA native. "It's a fast track and there's not much room to pass. There's not much of a second groove there -- it comes in once and awhile -- but most of the time, you are hugging the white line in the corner. That's the place to be. You need to have good pit strategy, stay out of trouble and stay up front. If we can do that, I know we can win there this weekend."

McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Racing Chevy will take the green flag in the third of four USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship events - The Dan Duncan Memorial 250 at Southern National Raceway Park - on Saturday October 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland , Alan Kulwicki