USAR: Southern: Mark McFarland preview

The last time Mark McFarland turned a wheel at Southern National Speedway, he took a hard left into Victory Lane. "Southern National is where I won my first USAR Hooters Pro Cup race in 2005," said McFarland, who will again take the green flag...

The last time Mark McFarland turned a wheel at Southern National Speedway, he took a hard left into Victory Lane.

"Southern National is where I won my first USAR Hooters Pro Cup race in 2005," said McFarland, who will again take the green flag at the Kenly, NC oval in the Naturally Fresh 250 USAR Southern Division event this Saturday evening. "It's a track that I have driven a lot of Late Model Stock Car races at and have had some success there in the past. It was a great place to get my first USAR Hooters Pro Cup win at and I'm looking forward to going back there again."

McFarland had a stint in the NASCAR Busch Series last season and didn't race in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup division. On Saturday,he will make his Hooters Cup return to the half-mile track behind the wheel the potent No. 81 Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevrolet Monte Carlo..

"They've repaved the track this season and from what I am hearing, it's throwing people a lot of curves," said McFarland. "There's only been a handful of races on the new asphalt. We'll be going in there with an open mind, trying to figure out what the track is and what our car needs to get us another good, Top-5 finish. It's still the same shape and style of racetrack, same banking too. It's bound to have a lot more grip and be a lot faster this year because of the new pavement. We've got a good team and our guys work real hard. I've got all the trust in the world that we're going to figure it out."

McFarland's Pete Knight Racing Team has had things 'figured out'this season winning a pair of USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern Division events. McFarland, a 29-year-old Winchester, VA native,also placedsecond in the most recent Southern Division event at Myrtle Beach, SC and last weekend at Motor Mile Speedway (Radford, VA), heset a new track record in qualifying for the Northern Division clash. Later in the evening, McFarland was within a handful of laps of his third Northern Division victory of the season when a rear end gear failure ended his night.

McFarland is currently seventh in the 2007 Pro Cup Southern Division regular season standings with 563 points -- just 30 markers out of second -- and looking forward to possible repeat of his 2005 Southern National victory this Saturday evening.

"Southern National is real similar to Motor Mile Speedway, the track where we just raced at last weekend," said McFarland (left). "Southern National is banked a little bit more and the corner speed is very fast there, especially now that they have repaved it. Turns 1-2 and 3-4 are pretty much identical corners. In some respects, it kind of reminds you of Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway because of the way you drop off the straights and into the corners. It has some of the same characteristics. You don't want to be too loose getting into the corners because that will hurt you a good bit.

"All in all, Southern National is a great place to race," McFarland concluded. "The last Hooters Pro Cup race I was in there featured some great two- and three-wide racing. I'm hoping the groove in the new pavement will widen out some and that we'll be able to put on a great race for the fans again this time. "

McFarland and his No. 81 Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevy will take the green flag in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Naturally Fresh 250 Southern Division event at Southern National Speedway this Saturday, July 21 event at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland