ES: Mansfield: Mark McFarland preview

As a touring racer, it's not often you get to compete at the same track two weeks in a row, but that's exactly with Mark McFarland will be doing when he takes the green flag at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Saturday, August 25th and Saturday, ...

As a touring racer, it's not often you get to compete at the same track two weeks in a row, but that's exactly with Mark McFarland will be doing when he takes the green flag at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway Saturday, August 25th and Saturday, September 1.

"Mansfield is probably one of my favorite racetracks," said McFarland. "We won a Hooters Pro Cup race there earlier this season. I also raced a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race there in 2004 and finished sixth. I'm really looking forward to taking a NASCAR Busch East car there one weekend and then coming back there the following weekend for a USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series event. I love that track, it just seems to fit my driving style."

McFarland was totally 'styling' winning the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Greased Lightning 250 Northern Division race at Mansfield on June 9. On Saturday, the 29-year-old Winchester, VA driver will make his first NASCAR Busch East start of the season and will be hoping for similar results.

"We've got a brand new car that the guys have been working on and it's really a beautiful piece," said McFarland said of his Pete Knight Racing Busch East entry. "We'll also have a brand new Automotive Specialists engine , so I know we are going to have good equipment. Given that the race is at Mansfield, I just feel real confident about what we have and what we can do. Your first race in a different series always gives you a couple of butterflies because you don't exactly know what to expect. The fact that it's at Mansfield allows us to not have to mess with that kind of thing that much."

According to McFarland, racing in the Busch East Series event won't take that much of an adjustment thanks to the rules similarities between the two divisions.

"There's not that much difference between our Hooters Pro Cup car and a NASCAR Busch East car," stated McFarland. "The chassis is pretty much the same. As far as set up, they will be pretty close because the wheelbase and weight are the same. The engine is a little bit different and the Pro [Right%20Side%20350.jpg] Cup car has a composite body while the Busch East car is an all steel body. The Pro Cup car runs B.F. Goodrich radials while the Busch East car has Goodyear tires, so there's a little difference. We'll go to the Mansfield Busch East race with pretty much the same baseline set-up we use in the Pro Cup car, so hopefully we'll be close."

One week after competing in the Busch East event at Mansfield, McFarland and his No. 81 Knights Companies/Greased Lightning Chevy will return to the half-mile mid-Ohio oval to compete in the first of five USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship events.

"We'll be real confident for the Hooters race because we will be taking the same car we won there with earlier this year," said McFarland. "It will be the first of the championship races this season and it will be real important to do well. I've always done well at Mansfield in the past and, hopefully, we'll come out of there with a good finish and a good points day."

Whatever the division -- Busch East or USAR Hooters Pro Cup -- McFarland thinks he knows exactly where he will have to position his Pete Knight Racing entries to be in the mix for the win in both Mansfield races.

"The middle and upper grooves are the place to be," stated McFarland. "It's pretty hard to pass on the bottom. I like running on the top because you can really drive the car into the corner and the track has enough grip that your car sticks. The turns also open out as your drive out of the corner, so you don't have to worry about having to try to turn the car a second time. You can just bury the car into the corner, turn it once, and drive it straight up and off. You can really hustle a car around there and that's what I really enjoy doing."

Saturday's NASCAR Busch East race at Mansfield Motorsports Park will take the green flag at 5 p.m. Eastern Time and will be telecast live on HDNet. The event will also be shown on a taped-delayed basis on The SPEED Channel on Wednesday, September 5 at 12 p.m. Eastern Time.

The USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship event at Mansfield is set to push off on Saturday, September 1 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Highlights of the event will be telecast on The SPEED Channel on Wednesday, September 5 at 4 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Mark McFarland