Tony Marks Racing Experiences Ups and Downs At Iowa Speedway
Topics: Jared Marks, Prairie Meadows 200
Knight Motorsports Management
Tony Marks Racing
July 19, 2011
NEWTON, Iowa (July 19, 2011) - - In their first tango with the .875-mile Iowa Speedway, freshman ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards team Tony Marks Racing (TMR) endured some highs and lows as the 11th race of the season was contested.
Armed with Maryeve Dufault back in her No. 12 Mad Croc / Dodge Motorsports / VR-12 Dodge Charger and Jared Marks in his No. 8 Mad Croc / Dodge Motorsports / VR-12 Dodge Charger, the duo was hoping to produce two top-10 finishes showing the ARCA Racing Series garage that despite their inexperience, the team should not be taken lightly in the second half.
Both drivers showed strength on Friday afternoon during the first of two practice sessions. Marks was the fastest of the bunch producing the 15th quickest lap with Dufault closely behind in 20th. Changes were made to both automobiles hoping to give both rookies comfort and grip. In happy hour, the final practice session leading up to qualifying, Marks once again led the TMR brigade with the 21st quickest lap and Dufault closely in-toe in 23rd.
Content with the setups of their race cars, both drivers consulted with their team members suggesting potential changes to their Dodge Chargers before qualifying took place on Saturday afternoon. Under extremely humid conditions, qualifying took off as scheduled with Marks producing the 18th quickest lap and Dufault 24th.
Solidly in the starting lineup for their first Iowa Speedway start, both TMR development drivers shifted their attention towards the race, which included staying hydrated as the air temperature continued to soar as the green flag approached.
At the start of the race, both drivers magnificently missed the spinning No. 63 Toyota Camry in turn three. Even though they had less than a lap under green, Dufault was gaining ground by sitting in 21st and Marks in 16th.
When racing resumed, it was Dufault that quickly found herself on the back bumper of her teammate as the two TMR entries would race close together and more importantly climb through the running order.
Both drivers through the first round of pit stops remained comfortably inside the top-20, but it was the Sorel, Quebec native of Dufault that once again experience hardship as her No. 12 Mad Croc / Dodge Motorsports / VR-12 Dodge Charger was hit from behind in turn four on lap 123 and slammed the wall hard.
Dufault, the ARCA Racing Series Rookie of the Year candidate was able to drive away from the scene of the incident but unable to finish her Iowa Speedway debut resulting in a discouraging 25th place finish.
With Marks now leading the way for the Mooresville, North Carolina-based team, it was the 16-year old showing patience and maturity as he recovered from falling off the lead lap to entering the top-10 before having to settle for a career best 11th, as a result of an extremely tight No. 8 Mad Croc / Dodge Motorsports / VR-12 Dodge Charger.
It was Mark’s third career start in ARCA. In each of his events, the Napoleon, Ohio native has been able to better his previous best finish in each race he has competed in. At Toledo Speedway, the site of his ARCA Racing Series debut, Marks finished 13th. After qualifying a career-best ninth at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway, the teenager rallied through tire issues to grasp a 12th place finish. Now on the heels of an 11th place finish, if the statistics were to stay the same, the next ARCA should result in a 10th place finish for the rising star.
“Overall, it was a pretty good day for Mad Croc, Dodge Motorsports, VR-12 and Tony Marks Racing,” said Marks. “We were able to improve the car throughout the race. It was find to be battling for a spot inside the top-10. The car just went way too tight near the end of the race and I didn’t have anything to catch Chad (Hackenbracht). I learned a lot out their including on dealing with the heat, so I really can’t complain about our run.”
As for Dufault, she continued to front frustration from her ARCA colleagues. “If they cannot get past me, they dump me,” she said. “It’s really not fair. We’ve been in several accidents that we shouldn’t have been in because of other people’s impatience. It’s not fair to our sponsors and especially the team to have to continue to fix race cars on a weekly basis. I’m trying to race everyone clean and be respective, but if they’re going to race me dirty, I might just have to start racing them dirty.”
For car owner Tony Marks, a former race car driver himself, it was a day full of emotions. “It was great to see both TMR cars running as strong as they were. We can’t seem to catch a break with Maryeve but Jared did a wail of a job. We’ll get through the trials and tribulations of being a two-car team. The reward will be the race that both of the cars are able to finish inside the top-10. I think based on their performance at Iowa that is coming up soon.”
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is a welcomed trip back to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, formally known as O’Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) for the running of the Ansell Protective Gloves 200 set for Thursday, July 28th. The iconic short track event will be aired live on SPEED beginning at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
For additional information on TMT, Inc. please visit; tmtcompanies.net.
For more on Maryeve Dufault, please log onto Maryeveracing.com.
To learn more about Tony Marks Racing, please click over to Tmr-racing.com.
See the buzz that VR-12 is creating by clicking over to their website at VR-12.com.
About Tony Marks Racing (TMR):
Tony Marks Racing was founded in 2009 through the passion for racing of team owner and former driver Tony Marks. Marks is the successful owner of TMT, Inc., a logistics, warehousing and packaging company with over 400 employees whose customers are mainly comprised of Fortune 100 companies.
Marks began his racing career in 1985 getting behind the wheel of everything from drag racers, Dirt Late Models, SCCA Formula Fords, USAC F2000 Open Wheel and ARCA cars. Tony personally raced until 2005 amassing numerous wins, championships and track records along the way until he then changed his focus from driver to owner and began building racing programs for his children Jared (16 years old) and Rachel (13 years old). Under the auspices of TMR, Jared began his racing career in 2002 in quarter midgets and now competes in late model, CRA, ASA and ARCA Series events while Rachel continues her development program racing quarter midgets and Bandoleros.
TMR has been at the forefront of charitable giving through its’ “Driving Against Hunger” and “Million Meal Challenge” race programs which have raised over $200,000 for Forgotten Harvest in 2010 at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan International Speedway.
For the NASCAR events TMR along with TMT, Inc. partnered with Forgotten Harvest for the “Million Meal Challenge For Our Kids” which helps to bridge the hunger gap while schools are out of session and feeds 20,000 children per day in the Detroit metro area. Forgotten Harvest was significantly displayed on the entry of Chase Austin during both the Truck and Nationwide events at Michigan International Speedway along with logos of “Million Meal Challenge” sponsors Walgreen’s, United Race Group, Holyfield’s Choice Alka-Power Water and Vitamin Spice. Evander Holyfield was also instrumental in the challenge, acting as Grand Marshall for the August race and announcing his “Fight Against Hunger” on behalf of Forgotten Harvest.
As the first race team to “Drive Against Hunger” through their partnership with Forgotten Harvest, TMR plans to continue their alliance with Forgotten Harvest and once again “Drive Against Hunger” during the 2011 season.
TEAM COMMUNICATIONS CONTACT:
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
|Connect with The Crittenden Automotive Library|