USAR: Southern: Southern Division round six preview

McFarland Streaking Into Southern National Point leader poised, precautious going into Crane Cams 250 Myrtle Beach, S.C.--When the Hooters Pro Cup Series rolls into Southern National Raceway Park for the running of the Crane Cams 250 on ...

McFarland Streaking Into Southern National

Point leader poised, precautious going into Crane Cams 250

Myrtle Beach, S.C.--When the Hooters Pro Cup Series rolls into Southern National Raceway Park for the running of the Crane Cams 250 on Saturday, July 19, Mark McFarland will be returning to the site of his first Hooters Pro Cup win. But for the first time in his career, McFarland will start a race as the Greased Lightning Southern Division point leader. It's taken McFarland 44 races to make it to the top of the Pro Cup lot, and he plans on staying there.

"We're going to burn a test at Southern National, and that should help us a lot," said McFarland, driver of the No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevrolet. "I thought we had a shot at winning last year, but Michael Ritch got us there at the end."

After trailing Mark McFarland for much of the second half of the Naturally Fresh 250 last year, Ritch closed in on McFarland after a red flag on Lap 187.

"I don't know what happened, but the car didn't take off like it had after that red flag," said McFarland. "Earlier in the race, I could just turn to the bottom and go. The car just lost a lot of grip and I couldn't get off the corners."

Ritch didn't help McFarland's handling conditions much, either.

As McFarland tried to keep Ritch at bay, Ritch bumped McFarland out of the bottom groove in Turn 1 on Lap 195. McFarland charged back in Turn 4 to pull alongside of Ritch.

"That was just hard racing," said McFarland. "My spotter told me he was looking, and then I felt him down there. He just got into me a little bit. I almost had him back if that lapped car hadn't been there. It's just fun racing with Michael. He's a good clean racer."

The stage is set of the two to do battle again this weekend--and perhaps the rest of the season.

With three races left in the regular season, McFarland has a 44-point lead over Ritch, the defending Southern Division champion. Back-to-back wins at South Georgia and Concord put Ritch in the point lead, but McFarland answered with back-to-back wins of his own at Milwaukee and Myrtle Beach.

McFarland's repeat feat was impressive, but it doesn't tell the whole story.

"We should have won at Lakeland, and we had a good car at South Georgia and had a car to win at Concord," said McFarland. "Everywhere we go, we have a chance to win. Pete Knight and Sears Auto Center have given us everything we need, and I can't be prouder of all the guys on this team for what they're doing. It's fun to go to the racetrack with these guys every weekend."

McFarland will get his chance for a third victory in a row on Saturday, July 19 at Southern National Raceway Park. The Crane Cams 250 is slated for a start time of 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to come out early for Awesome Awnings Pole Qualifying at 4 p.m. to be followed by a 50-lap Allison Legacy Series event at 4:45 p.m. Pre-race ceremonies will start at 6:30 p.m.

For ticket information, contact SNRP at (919) 284-1114.

HOOTERS PRO CUP QUICK FACTS FOR THE GREASED LIGHTNING SOUTHERN DIVISON

WHAT: Crane Cams 250

WHERE:                  Southern National Raceway Park

.4-mile high banked oval

WHEN: Saturday, July 19

DISTANCE: 250 laps/100 miles

POSTED AWARDS: $127,136

STARTING FIELD: 32-car starting field. Top 28 on time, four provisionals

TELEVISION: VERSUS NETWORK--Monday, July 28 at 4 p.m. (ET)
Regional Networks: Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Altitude Sports, Comcast SportsNet New England, SportsTime Ohio, Comcast SportsNet West, Cox Sports, Lonestar Sports, Mediacom, America One, DirectTV & Dish Network (Check Local Listings for Regional Airings)

WEEKEND SCHEDULE:

Saturday, July 19, 2008:
11:00 a.m. USAR HPCS Practice Begins
1:00 p.m. USAR HPCS Practice Ends
2:00 p.m. Allison Legacy Series Practice Opens
2:30 p.m. Front Gates Open
3:00 p.m. Allison Legacy Series Practice Ends
4:00 p.m. Awesome Awnings Qualifying for the USAR HPCS
4:45 p.m. Allison Legacy Series Race (50 laps)
5:45 p.m. Wraps Ink Autograph Session for the USAR HPCS
6:30 p.m. Pre-Race Ceremonies for the Crane Cams 250
7:00 p.m. Start of the Crane Cams 250

HPCS Track Qualifying Record SNRP:
Driver: Woody Howard Date: 7/21/07 Time: 14.403/99.979 mph

-credit: usar

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland