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NASCAR BGN: Popeys to sponsor Mark McFarland in Richmond race

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
September 6, 2001

Winchester,VA – Virginia late model standout Mark McFarland with the support of longtime sponsor Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Washington D.C.Co-Op, today announced he would contest the upcoming NASCAR Busch Grand National race at Richmond International Raceway. The September 7th Autolite/Fram 250 will be McFarland’s first BGN race of the 2001 season.

Through a one race lease arrangement with Joe Gibbs Racing, McFarland will be driving the #20 Popeyes Pontiac under the direction of veteran crew chief Doug Richert. This will be the Winchester,Virginia natives third start in a Richmond BGN event, and his second in a Popeyes sponsored car. In the September 2000 event, McFarland qualified 15th but was sidelined by an accident late in the race. In 1998 the 23 year old notched a 29th place finish in the spring event at his home state track.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to return to Richmond in a Busch car,” said McFarland. “I can’t thank everyone at Popeyes enough for their continued support of my racing program. We will have first class equipment this weekend and with Doug Richert on board, I will have the benefit of learning as much as I can from his years of NASCAR experience.”

McFarland began his racing career at eight years old in go-karts posting 10 national championships and 14 state championships to his resume before moving to late model stock cars in 1996. In just five short years, he has scored 29 main event victories at Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas Virginia. He has been a rookie of the year and captured the 2000 track championship.

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Mark and his late model program,” said a Popeyes spokesperson. “He is an excellent spokesperson for our company and we are pleased to have the opportunity to assist this talented young man as he moves his racing career to the next professional level.”

Specializing in New Orleans-style chicken, Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits is the world’s second-largest quick-service chicken chain (in terms of sales). Popeyes is a division of Atlanta-based AFC Enterprises. Popeyes, founded in 1972 in New Orleans, LA, currently has 1,300 restaurants in 40 states and 20 countries worldwide, including Japan, Germany, Korea, United Kingdom, Mexico, Panama, Honduras, Jamaica, Saudi Arabia, Oman,Guam, Canada, Thailand and Jordan In addition, Popeyes is the world's second-largest franchiser of quick-service chicken restaurants. The chain began franchising in 1976 and,since that time, has added more than 700 franchise partners.

The Autolite/Fram 250 is scheduled for 8:00 PM EDT with live television coverage provided by TNT.

Text provided by Judy Kouba Dominick

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