USAR: Iowa CS: Mark McFarland race report

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Notch Another Runner-Up Finish In USAR Championship Event At Iowa Mooresville, NC (September 23, 2008) -- Most of the time, finishing second in the first two USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series...

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Notch Another Runner-Up Finish In USAR Championship Event At Iowa

Mooresville, NC (September 23, 2008) -- Most of the time, finishing second in the first two USAR Hooters Pro Cup Championship Series events would be a ticket to leading the points and plenty of celebration. Unfortunately for Mark McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevrolet Monte Carlo, both of those runner-up finishes have been to the same driver - Benny Gordon -- leaving him second in the championship points and providing little to cheer about this week at the Pete Knight Racing shops.

"We definitely had the best car in the race," said McFarland about finishing second behind Gordon by a scant 0.324 seconds in the Alan Kulwicki Memorial 250 at Iowa Speedway last Saturday. "Benny just beat us on the fuel mileage deal. Everybody else had to stop twice for fuel and he only stopped once. That was the difference in the race."

McFarland also finished behind Gordon in the Charlie Campbell Memorial Sears Auto Center 250, the first race of the 2008 USAR title chase at Mansfield, OH two weeks ago. In that event, McFarland and the rest of the field stopped for fuel while Gordon went the distance without pitting.

After Gordon again was able to master the fuel mileage game at Iowa, several competitors openly questioned USAR officials as to how Gordon was going the distance on fewer stops for gas. In an effort to quiet the objections, USAR officials pulled the fuel cells from both Gordon's and McFarland's racers during the post-race technical inspection at Iowa Saturday.

"I thought that was the wrong thing to do that from the start, but we did it," stated Wes Ward, Pete Knight Racing general manager and crew chief for McFarland. "I didn't really agree with the procedure. We should have checked the cells while they were still in the cars. That said, USAR officials determined Benny's fuel cell passed tech and he got the win. We'll accept that. We have two more races to run and we're racing for a championship, so we're just going to move on and get ready to do our best at the next race at Southern National."

Gordon's win increased his lead in the Championship Series to 45 points (550-505) over McFarland with two races remaining in the title chase.

"The fuel mileage deal was the difference in the last two races," McFarland concluded. "Benny has taken advantage of that in the last two races. If he stops in either one of those races, we win. It's as simple as that."

McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Racing Chevy take the green flag in the third of four USAR Hooters Pro Cup championship events - The Dan Duncan Memorial 250 at Southern Nationals Speedway - on October 18 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland