Chicagoland: Justin Marks race report

Avoiding Obstacles, Marks Comes Home Sixth at Chicagoland Joliet, Il (August 30, 2010)-Ending the streak of finishes outside the top-10 at three, Justin Marks and the Win-Tron Racing crew worked through several bumps in the road at Chicagoland...

Avoiding Obstacles, Marks Comes Home Sixth at Chicagoland

Joliet, Il (August 30, 2010)-Ending the streak of finishes outside the top-10 at three, Justin Marks and the Win-Tron Racing crew worked through several bumps in the road at Chicagoland Speedway to pull off a sixth place finish. After finishes of 21st, 20th and 22nd, Marks and company welcomed the solid finish and a non-damaged Construct Corps Toyota at the end of the Ansell Protective Gloves 150 Friday evening.

The Rocklin, California native and his team took the opportunity to travel to Chicagoland Speedway a little more than a week prior to the main event at the 1.5-mile event for an open test session that allowed the team to harvest some valuable information and setup improvements. The first practice session on Thursday afternoon proved to be a little more challenging than the No. 32 team had hoped; though Justin was able to lay down the fifth fastest practice time of the session, he reported his Construct Corps Camry was a little too loose for his liking. Yet another obstacle was thrown in the team's path following practice, when an engine issue was discovered just before the ARCA Racing Series garage was set to close for the night.

An early morning decision to swap the original Toyota powerhouse put the Win-Tron Crew to work under the hood, thrashing to get the car prepared before the final practice session. Putting all hands on deck, the team was able to make a complete engine change in just underan hour, still allowing Justin enough time to hit the track for the final 30 minutes of practice.

During the two short runs he was able to complete in happy hour with the new motor, Marks reported the loose condition hadn't gone away, but the new motor was making good power as the laps ticked off. Just over two short hours later, Marks was back out on the track for qualifying, laying down a lap time of 30.617 seconds, good enough for the fifth starting spot.

Wasting no time at the drop of the green, Marks moved his way up to the third position within the first five laps and continued to hang tight within the top five before the first caution flag on lap 33 presented the team with an opportunity to come down pit road. Crew chief Mike Chaffee called for four tires and a chassis adjustment to remedy a continued loose handling condition in the Construct Corps Camry, and a quick stop by the team sent Justin back out in the fourth spot.

Another scare came for the team on lap 50, as Marks radioed to his crew a change in the tune of the motor, and a lower oil pressure number than he had started with. Staying calm behind the wheel, Justin soldiered on with some encouragement from his spotter and crew chief over the radio and held his position in the top five. Concern for the engine soon passed as Justin reported no changes for the worse, and he pulled down pit road under the next caution flag on lap 60 for four more Hoosiers and another chassis adjustment.

Unable to remedy the loose handling condition in the Construct Corps Toyota all evening, Justin's driving skills were put to the test as he continued to report the difficult driving conditions he faced exiting each corner. Choosing to stay out during the second to last caution of the evening for some track position with 25 laps remaining, Justin restarted in fifth and held on to all but one position to slide home in the sixth spot.

"It was a solid day thought it wasn't exactly what we'd hoped for after the run we had with this car at Texas," Marks commented after 100 laps of work. "It was sort of a messy race for me, but I was pretty happy to get a good solid top ten finish, which we haven't had in almost a month. Hopefully we can start getting back on track now."

The next challenge for the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards comes in the form of the Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at DuQuoin State Fairgrounds on Labor Day. Marks heads into the one mile dirt track 145 points behind new championship points leader Craig Goess, looking to improve from his last non-pavement performance two weeks ago at Springfield with the mud-slinging style fresh on his mind.

-source: win-tron racing

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Marks , Craig Goess