USAR: Southern: Mark McFarland race report

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Win Again In USAR Hooters Pro Cup Clash At Southern National Pete Knight Racing Driver Has Three Wins And Has Finished No Worse Than Second In Last Five USAR Events Mooresville, NC (July 20, 2008) -- When...

McFarland, Sears Auto Center Chevy Win Again In USAR Hooters Pro Cup Clash At Southern National
Pete Knight Racing Driver Has Three Wins And Has Finished No Worse Than Second In Last Five USAR Events

Mooresville, NC (July 20, 2008) -- When you're hot, you're hot. Just ask Mark McFarland.

The Pete Knight Racing driver notched his third USAR Hooters Pro Cup victory in his last five races wheeling his No. 81s Sears Auto Center Chevy to a win in the Crane Cams 250 [Myrtle%20Beach%20VL%2021.jpg] Saturday at Southern National Speedway in Kenly, NC. The trio of wins, along with two runner-up finishes in his last five events, has McFarland on a personal unprecedented Pro Cup hot streak.

"I've never had a winning streak like this at this level of racing before," said McFarland, who has also recently scored victories at Myrtle Beach (SC) and Milwaukee (WI). "I won 19 late model stock car races in 2003 at Old Dominion Speedway in Virginia, I think 10 of them in a row at one point. This kind of resembles that, but this is a whole different level than that.

"We knew we were going to do our best this season and we'd live with whatever happened," McFarland continued. "We knew we had good equipment and people. I was going to give 100 percent and see what we wound up with. Now we're on a roll and we've got some wins and luck on our side. It's been pretty amazing."

Luck, and a fast PKR Chevy Monte Carlo, put McFarland in contention again at Southern National as he toured the ultra-fast track in 14.834 seconds, good enough for the third starting position Saturday.

"I didn't feel that good about our car in practice," McFarland stated. "We were really loose off the corners in practice. We made some changes before qualifying, but we kind of left that part alone because we thought the track would tighten up during the race. We were better in qualifying and honestly, I don't know what we could have done to make it any faster. Maybe I could have driven it a litter harder because we just missed the pole by a little bit."

Still off just a tick in the early going, the veteran Winchester, VA driver bided his time until the first pit stop knowing his Sears Auto Center pit crew would make his car better with the right adjustments.

"We were still too loose at the start of the race and I fell back to about fifth or sixth through the first run of the race," said McFarland. "We got fuel and put some wedge in the car to tighten it up on our first pit stop and that helped a lot. On our second stop, we got tires and tightened the car up some more. That was exactly what I needed. It was awesome. I was able to drive it right to the front. The car was unbelievable."

McFarland credited his B.F. Goodrich racing radial tires for much of his success Saturday as he completed the final 162 of 250 laps without having to pit for fresh rubber.

"BFG has a great tire," said McFarland. "They just don't wear out. Some of our fastest lap times were at the end of the race. The tires didn't give up at all. It just seemed like everything we did worked perfectly. The tires, when we pitted, what we did with adjustments all worked. It was a great night."

McFarland also had high praise for his Pete Knight Racing team led by veteran crew chief Wes Ward.

[Lakeland%20Pit%20Stop%2011.jpg] b^0x001cI've got a good team and our preparation is showing up at the track," said McFarland. "We're one of the most prepared teams when we get to the track. Wes is very organized, a good leader, and he has all the guys going in the same direction. He makes good calls during the race and that takes a lot of pressure off me. That's the reason why we are doing so well at the track."

In the end, McFarland had all the right stuff to take the win and extend his lead in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Southern Division regular season point's chase.

"Southern National is a tight track and it's tough to pass," said McFarland. "It's a fast place. It's lost a little grip since they paved it last year, but you're still hauling. It takes your breath. It's like Bristol, only smaller. You really have to have a good run on somebody to get under them and clear them. We had a good enough car where we could do that all night long."

McFarland and his No. 81s Sears Auto Center/Knight's Companies Chevy will stay busy competing in the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Northern Division event at Jennerstown (PA) Speedway this Saturday, July 26. The Hooters 250 will take the green flag at Jennerstown at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

-credit: pkr

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mark McFarland