McFarland Leaves "The 'Ham" Smokin In BSS Action  Series PR Report
Hueytown Native Wins "Davey Allison Memorial" at Birmingham
Except for those left behind, who doesn't enjoy seeing Ken McFarland winning races?  The Hueytown native who won the annual Birmingham Super Series Davey Allison Memorial at Birmingham International Raceway Saturday evening accepted the win with gratitude toward his crew and family and humility for his position as top dog.  One would have thought the highly talented driver had nothing to do with the performance that handed him the lead on lead on the 59th of 100 trips around the relatively flat oval.  He never used the word "I" in the post-race interview, only "we" and "they."

"We had a good car," the winner declared.  "The car was really turning good.  If a car is set up to turn good and easy, you can get off the corners faster.  We work hard in getting the car to go through the turns."

Through the corners, off the turns and down the straights McFarland was off the chain.
 

For the third consecutive long race at BIR in 2008, McFarland was the fastest qualifier, leader of the most laps, and the winner.  His qualifying time of 20.369-seconds/110.461 mph) was the fastest of the eight (8) cars that clocked under 21 seconds.  A roll of 5 on the die put him inside rookie Brandon Parker and behind John Bolen and Gary Nix.  The front row had Chris Serio on the point flanked by rookie Josh Belter.  The race was green flagged by Lauren Wallace, the youngster who is seen in a go-cart on the Geico television ads.  Serio hit the afterburners and launched into the lead with Bolen in tow.  Bolen and Belter swapped ground a few times until Bolen took the second spot.

On the ninth lap Serio slipped up high in turn two and Bolen made his move to the lead.  The first quarter of the race Bolen was a man unto himself, keeping Nix at bay and stretching their lead to over 50 yards.  McFarland had taken third running position
on the same lap as Bolen's pass.  Gary Sanford, Jr., who started eighth, followed with Parker, Belter, Justin South, Keith Cahela, Serio, and Clint Folsom comprising the top ten.  The first of four cautions came out when Pat Cruise spun in turn four on the 27th lap.  Cruise, Serio with an ill-handling car, and open-wheel ace Mad Max Papis pitted.  Later it would be reported Serios car would not handle. Between he and his weekend team partner, Papis, they would have three flats, taking both cars out of contention.  The 32nd lap restart gave Nix an opportunity to make a run for the lead, showing again he used a good restart strategy.  Two laps later when Cruise's team could not get the car restarted and he was dangerously close to the fast lane, another caution period was flagged.

Action resumed with Bolen leading, but bobbling on the 37th lap restart.  McFarland snatched runner-up spot from Nix, setting up his take over of the lead.  McFarland applied the pressure, running a bit over a groove lower than Bolen's leading car.  McFarland used that low groove to take the lead on the 41st lap.  On the first lap of the second half of the event, 2007 BSS champion Sanford took over third position behind Bolen and leader McFarland.  On lap 57 the third caution period was on when Folsom hit the second turn wall in the same spot he hit in the Early BIRd 125 in February.  With the clean up completed, the race was resumed without Folsom on the 62nd lap. 

While McFarland casually lead the pack, duels developed behind him.  Sanford could reign in Bolen around the track, but lost ground coming off the second turn each lap. A fourth turn melee involving the cars of Serio, Justin Cruise, P. Cruise, and Matt Swartz initially looked dramatic. Momentarily after they were blocking the track, however, they all rolled off and made it to the pits or the back of the line.  When McFarland carried the race to a hurried win under the white flag, Blake Ferguson made a bid for third place coming out of turn two.  ARCA driver Justin South and Ferguson tangled, taking Ferguson from a potential third to a spun out 12th as the checkered were thrown for McFarland.  Coming across the line behind him were Bolen, Sanford, South, and Belter.  Cahela, Chase Knox, Serio, Mark Singleton, and Papis made up the top ten finishers list.

In addition to winning the Davey Allison Memorial 100, McFarland also received the FEL-PRO Winners Bonus and Sonic Clutches Bonus.  The FEL-PRO Highest Finishing Rookie Bonus went to Josh Belter.  The Victory Communications Hard Charger Award went to Chase Knox.  The Sonic Clutches Fifth Place Bonus went to Belter.

McFarland came up through the ranks of the Legends Series at the local tracks.  He first drove a Late Model at BIR in 1998, and was recognized as Rookie of the Year.  In 1999 he won the Late Model championship.  In the Davey Allison Memorial 100, Birmingham Auto Auction, and City Auto Sales sponsored McFarland.  The car is a Frankie Grill Grand American Race Cars chassis with a Hamner Performance Racing Chevrolet engine.  The sheet metal is that of a Ford Fusion.

OFFICIAL DAVEY ALLISON 100 FINISH, STARTING POSITION, AND STATUS AT END OF RACE--1. Ken McFarland, (5), running; 2. John Bolen, (3), running; 3. Gary Sanford, Jr., (8), running; 4. Justin South, (9), running; 5. Josh Belter, (2), running; 6. Keith Cahela, (12), running;  7. Chase Knox, (15), running; 8. Chris Serio, (1), running; 9. Mark Singleton, (11), running; 10. Max Papis, (13), running; 11. Brandon Parker, (5), running; 12. Blake Ferguson, (10), running; 13. Matt Swartz, (18), running; 14. Pat Cruis e, (14), running; 15. Gary Nix, (5), suspension; 16. Justin Cruise, (16), tie rod; 17. Shannon Dodson, (17), rear end/drive shaft; 18. Clint Folsom, (7), wreck.  


Ken McFarland has been the man at BIR so far this year.  (51 Photo)