Solid Finish for Marks at Salem; Texas Straight Ahead
Topics: Justin Marks, Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200
April 13, 2010
Mooresville, NC (April 13, 2010) - Eager to get back to the track after claiming his first victory of the season at the last ARCA Racing Series event, Justin Marks and his Win-Tron Racing team traveled to Salem, Indiana last weekend for 200 laps of short-track action at Salem Speedway. Marks, 29, headed into the event as the championship points leader with a 30 point lead over second place.
Making his fourth career Salem Speedway appearance in the ARCA Racing Series, Justin started out the weekend by posting a time quick enough for 12th on the charts in the only practice session for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers 200 presented by ApplianceZone.com. Improvement from practice times set Marks and his Win-Tron powered machine in the ninth starting spot for Sunday’s race. The qualifying effort for the main event tied Justin’s personal best at the .555 mile oval.
“We struggled just a bit in practice with the Construct Corps Dodge being too tight. (Crew Chief) Mike Chaffee and the guys made good changes heading into the race and really improved the car. These races are tough because they’re so short, so you have to go pretty hard all race long and use some strategy to position yourself for the finish,” Marks said before the event.
Dodging bullets from the beginning, Justin kept his No. 32 Construct Corps Dodge Charger out of harm’s way, first avoiding an incident on lap one when the field bunched up at the drop of the green flag. The Rocklin, California native kept his cool through 11 caution periods throughout the day and stayed within the top-10 for the entire afternoon. Within striking distance of the lead, Marks pulled his car down pit road for the final pit stop with about 75 laps remaining for some final adjustments and four fresh tires.
Riding in fourth position with the laps winding down, Justin kept the power down around the high-banked short track and pulled a daring last-lap pass on the No. 60 of Patrick Sheltra to take the checkers in third place. Marks’ third place finish was his first career top-five at Salem Speedway. Though Marks lost his 30-point advantage in the point standings, he still remains tied for the lead with 635 total points.
“After the last pit stop the car was the best it had been all day and were able to make forward progress over the last 50 laps which was good. All in all, a good points day and fun race,” the satisfied driver expressed. “It is by far my best finish at a short track, so it's apparent that our program is well rounded and I'm looking forward to improving on this car and taking it to Toledo.”
Co-owner of Win-Tron Racing Nate Thiesse was also pleased with the strong, consistent finish at the Indiana short track.
"Overall, we're very satisfied with our performance at Salem. Justin kept on his nose clean for the entire race and when push came to shove he moved into the podium finish. Consistent finishes like we had at Salem no doubt aids in our chase to win the championship."
Making its first Texas Motor Speedway start in the ARCA Racing Series Rattlesnake 150 this Friday night, the No. 32 Win-Tron Racing team has its sights set high with Marks behind the wheel.
"We'll be leaning heavily on Justin this weekend,” Thiesse commented. “We've never been there other than the ARCA test but Justin has plenty of laps there and he will be beneficial in helping us with the setup with our Construct Corps entry. Our goal is to win every week – but if we can walk away from our first ARCA go-around with another solid run, we'll take it and move onto to Talladega."
Heading into the event tied with Steve Arpin as the series’ points leader, Marks will bring his prior experience around the 1.5-mile D-shaped oval, including one of his first professional starts in 2001 on the road course at TMS in the World Challenge Series, as well as two starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In 2008, the driver claimed the pole position for the NCWTS event and finished 14th in his first career Texas start with Germain Racing in 2007. Looking to continue his success and pick up where he left off, Justin is excited about this weekend.
“I'm looking forward to Texas because it's the kind of track I really like. There are unique challenges at the mile and a half tracks for both the teams and the drivers,” Justin said. There's an aerodynamic element to contend with and the competition is usually really good because it's a lucrative event for the series. Win-Tron has proven that they bring great cars to the big tracks and this should be no different.
“We're in the middle of a mini-string of back-to-back races that are going to be important for championship positioning heading into the summer and this team is ready for the challenge.”
The 100-lap event can be seen live on SPEED Channel this Friday evening at 7:30 pm EST, immediately following NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Qualifying and Trackside.
For more on Justin Marks please visit, JustinMarksRacing.com.
Be sure to get personal with Justin Marks by following him on Twitter at Twitter.com/justin_racing.
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