USAR: Jennerstown: Mark McFarland race report

Luck Finally Runs Out For McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy At Jennerstown Pete Knight Racing Driver Finishes 26th After Five-Race Hot Streak Mooresville, NC (July 28, 2008) --Sooner or later, Mark McFarland knew his torrid USAR Hooters Pro...

Luck Finally Runs Out For McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy At Jennerstown
Pete Knight Racing Driver Finishes 26th After Five-Race Hot Streak

Mooresville, NC (July 28, 2008) --Sooner or later, Mark McFarland knew his torrid USAR Hooters Pro Cup streak would have to come to an end.

"We hated it that we finally had a problem," said McFarland after an engineissue saddled his No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevy with a 26th-place finish in Saturday's

"We're pretty sure we broke a valve spring. We had that happen earlier this year at Lakeland andthis onehad the same kind of feeling that one did. The engine missed quite a while, almost from the beginning of the race. Eventually it broke and we had to pull in. There wasn't much we could do about it."

The less than expected finish came after McFarland had won three of his last five Pro Cup races he had entered. Toss in a pair of runner-up efforts, and the Winchester, VA driver had a 1.4 finishing average over the last five Pro Cup events heading into the USAR Northern Division event at Jennerstown Saturday.

McFarland and his Pete Knight Racing Chevy Monte Carlo appeared to be on track for another solid effort in practice Saturday turning in the top time of 18.984 seconds on the .522-mile Jennerstown oval. In qualifying, McFarland just missed the pole timing in third with an even better 18.846-second effort.

"We had a good car in practice and qualifying," said McFarland. "Even at the beginning of the race, it was pretty decent. We were just waiting for the pit stops to make the car better. We were able to do that and the car did get a lot better later in the race. Then the motor started to go south and we hung on as long as we could. Ultimately, we just decided to pull in before we completely blew it up."

McFarland was running among the leaders when he decided to park his mount on Lap 166 of the 250-circuit test. While the finish was less than expected, McFarland was pleased the mechanical issue happened in the Northern Division test and not in a Southern Division race where he is the current championship point's leader.

"We have to look at it that it was lucky it came in a Northern Division race," McFarland stated. "We're lucky it didn't happen this coming weekend because we were planning on running the same car and the same motor at Hickory in the Southern Division event. If we hadn't have raced at Jennerstown, it might have happened at Hickory. You're never happy when you have a DNF (did not finish), but we're happy it happened where it did. We've been on a good roll here and now we just have to finish out the year without any problems in the rest of the races."

McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevy will next take to the track this Saturday, August 2, in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division 4 Brothers 250 at Hickory (NC) Speedway. The event is set to take the green flag at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland