McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Ready To Battle With Both Hands At Iowa Pete Knight Racing Driver To Wheel New Car In Second USAR Hooters Pro Cup Title Event After Running Back-Up Car In Series Opener Mooresville, NC (September 15, 2008) --...
McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Ready To Battle With Both Hands At Iowa
Pete Knight Racing Driver To Wheel New Car In Second USAR Hooters Pro Cup Title Event After Running Back-Up Car In Series Opener
Mooresville, NC (September 15, 2008) -- Last time out, Mark McFarland competed with one hand tied behind his back racing a secondary car to a runner-up finish in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series opening event at Mansfield, OH. The change of mount came after McFarland's No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevrolet Monte Carlo primary car was destroyed in a tire test in preparation for this weekend's Iowa Speedway.
"We had a right-front problem going through Turns 3-4 and the car went straight into the fence," said McFarland of the Iowa crash in late August. "That was our good car and the one we were planning on running at Bristol at the end of the season and in the first championship race at Mansfield. We had to go to a backup car for those races and we got off on the right foot with a second-place finish in the first championship race at Mansfield. We're built a new car identical to the one we wrecked in the Iowa tire test for this weekend. Hopefully, it will be real good."
McFarland will find out just what he's got in a hurry as Iowa is the fastest track the USAR division races on this season.
"Iowa is super nice -- the nicest track we go to," said McFarland. "You have to run the car hard. That's especially true with these Hooters cars. You don't want to be losing time in the corners. With the kind of horsepower these cars have, you almost have to be wide open all the way around the track. If you have to crack the throttle in the corners, you are going to lost time. You don't want to use any brakes if you don't have to."
McFarland was all over the brakes in the final laps of the Charlie Campbell Memorial Sears Auto Center 250, the first race of the 2008 USAR title battle at Mansfield two weeks ago. McFarland was glued to the back of eventual winner Benny Gordon's car over the final laps of the race, but couldn't get the pass for the win completed as Gordon nipped him for the victory.
"We had a good car, but in practice and the race, it was just too tight off the corners," said McFarland. "We could never seem to get it fixed. We were decent, but Benny was beating me off the corners. A couple of times, I got up beside him, but I just couldn't make the pass. If we had been in front of him, it might have been a different story. I think I could have held him off. It was still a good finish. To go in there with a back-up car and finish second really says how strong our Pete Knight Racing team really is. We just have to keep on doing what we've been doing and try to win every race. That's going to be the key to winning the championship."
McFarland has already raced at the gleaming Iowa oval this season posting an 11th-place finish in a 200-lap NASCAR Camping World East Series event.
"I've been to Iowa twice now, once for the Hooters tire test and once for the Camping World race," said McFarland. "Hopefully, I have it down now where we won't have to run too many laps in practice to get us to where we need to be in the Championship Series race this weekend."
McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Racing Chevy will head into the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Race 2 Recovery 225 at Iowa Speedway 30 points behind Gordon (350-320) in the overall 2008 USAR Championship standings.
Saturday's race at Iowa will take the green flag at 7 p.m. Central Time.