Nascar Nation Wide Series News
JR Motorsports to Run First Busch Race
Nov 15, 2005 - updated Nov 15th, 2005 10:45pm
Web posted by David Hovis
Mooresville, NC. --
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:November 15, 2005
Mark McFarland to drive the No. 88 NAVY Chevrolet at Homestead finale
JR Motorsports, a Mooresville, NC based company owned by Dale Earnhardt, Jr., will step up a couple of rungs on the stock car racing ladder when they field their first NASCAR Busch Series entry in the Ford 300 season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fl.
Mark McFarland, who will compete full-time in the Busch Series in 2006 in the No. 88 U.S. Navy-sponsored Monte Carlos, will also be making his first Busch Series start of 2005. McFarland has been competing full-time on the USAR Hooters Pro Cup circuit in 2005 where he has compiled 1 win, six poles and nine top-five finishes in the ultra-competitive series.
McFarland, a Winchester, Va. native, will have fellow Virginian Jefferson Hodges on top of the pit box as his crew chief. Hodges, who is from Williamsburg, Va., has been the crew chief for JR Motorsports’ Hooters Pro Cup effort.
Chassis: #001 (previously raced at Darlington by Paul Menard, May 6, 2005)
Engine: Richard Childress Racing
Dale Jr. on JR Motorsports progression to the NASCAR Busch Series:
“It’s really exciting and mind-blowing to think that only a few years ago we were racing street stocks. Mark is a great racecar driver. He has a good feel and has some experience in these cars. The test last week went well, I thought, so I’m counting on some good things.”
“We have surrounded ourselves with some excellent people, in key areas of the team. Guys with a lot of experience in racing. That will help ease our growing pains. Even though we are getting kind of a late start in building a team, from the ground up, for 2006, we expect to hit the ground running.”
Mark on what it means to be picked as JR Motorsports first Busch Series driver:
“It’s hard to put into words what it means to be picked for this ride. I can’t thank Dale Jr. and everyone at JR Motorsports enough for making what would be any young racecar driver’s dream come true.
My parents have been so supportive of me and have sacrificed a lot for my racing career. My dad can do a lot more hunting now that he doesn’t have racecars to pay for.”
“We have a great sponsorship from the U.S. Navy and it is surreal to think that every Saturday we’ll be racing for 350,000 Navy personnel world-wide, especially during this time in our country’s history. You will see a proud driver come race day.”
Mark on preparing for next season:
“We have a ton of work to do, there is no doubt about that. I canceled a cruise during December because there is so much work that I have to do, separate from all the work the team will be doing. This race will help a bunch in making sure we go into the off-season in the right direction and all our hard work will pay off when February rolls around.”
Championship Pedigree: McFarland has accomplished much in his racing career and capturing the 2003 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship, one of the most revered championships in NASCAR, ranks as his crown jewel. He won an amazing 29 times during his championship season, as well as capturing two track championships.
Seasoned Rookie: While the 27-year-old McFarland is technically a rookie, this will be his 10th NASCAR Busch Series start. Most recently he participated in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s rotating lineup of 2004. His average finish of 20th was the highest for the No. 6 entry.
Way Back When: During McFarland’s 2003 championship season he was part of a late model stock team that combined to win over 50 races that year. His teammate was Denny Hamlin, who himself is on a meteoric rise through the ranks of NASCAR.