USAR: Valdosta: Mark McFarland preview

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking To Drive Into Victory Lane At SGMP This Weekend Mooresville, NC (March 24, 2008) --After winning the pole and leading a good portion of the race only to have an engine problem sideline his No. 81 Sears...

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Looking To Drive Into Victory Lane At SGMP This Weekend

Mooresville, NC (March 24, 2008) --After winning the pole and leading a good portion of the race only to have an engine problem sideline his No. 81 Sears Tire Center Chevy in the season-opening USAR Hooters Pro Cup event at Lakeland, FL two weeks ago, Mark McFarland is looking for better results as he heads for Valdosta, GA and the B.F. Goodrich Tires.com 250 at South Georgia Motorsports Park this Saturday.

"We tested at Valdosta a couple of weeks ago and we actually tested better there than we did at Lakeland," said McFarland of his Pete Knight Racing team. "I'm really looking forward to taking that same car back there. South Georgia is one of my favorite tracks on the circuit. I have always run good at Valdosta but never won there. I want to do it this time. I want to win."

McFarland and his PKR Chevy have run well at the spotless SGMP .264-mile oval in the past including a second-place finish in the Dan Duncan Memorial 250 USAR championship event last season. In the 2007 USAR regular season visit to the Georgia track, McFarland wheeled his red, white and blue Monte Carlo to an 11th-place finish.

"We probably had the best car there," said McFarland of last year's regular season Pro Cup event. "We led for awhile and then we had a flat tire. We had to make an extra pit stop and that really put us behind. We had to make up quite a few spots at the end of the race, but we still were able to make it back up to 11th. We've had a good car every time I've raced there, so I'm really looking forward to going back to Valdosta this time around."

Given hissolid SGMP finishes in the past, it's hard for McFarland to find any fault with the 5,000-seat racing facility that is sure to be packed when he takes the green flag Saturday night.

"South Georgia is a great track," said McFarland. "It's a relatively new track with a very smooth surface. It has a lot of grip and that's why I like it. You can really hustle the car there and you don't have to worry about tires falling off. It's just a raw speed track. You definitely have to handle, but it helps to have a good motor there. You need to be able to get up under people and be able to pass them."

McFarland, a Winchester, VA native, knows he'll have to pass plenty of cars this Saturday if he is going to rebound in the 2008 USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division championship race after the disappointing 25th-place finish at Lakeland two weeks ago.

"Our goal is to run good at South Georgia and get some of the points back that we lost at Lakeland," said McFarland. "That's really crucial for us given there are only eight regular season events this year. We need to get out of that hole and back into the championship hunt."

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland