Justin Marks; Win-Tron Racing Victorious In Palm Beach JUPITER, Florida (March 1, 2010) - - It was nearly a flawless performance for Win-Tron Racing and Justin Marks at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway (PBIR) this past weekend. The reward...
Justin Marks; Win-Tron Racing Victorious In Palm Beach
JUPITER, Florida (March 1, 2010) - - It was nearly a flawless performance for Win-Tron Racing and Justin Marks at Palm Beach (Fla.) International Raceway (PBIR) this past weekend. The reward for their effort was a trip to victory lane in Saturday's Tire Kingdom 150 presented by ModSpace.
Marks and his Lakeville, Minnesota based team arrived in the "Sunshine" state clearly one of the favorites to win the inaugural event at PBIR and by the end of the first practice -- it was clear that the veteran team was living up to everyone's early expectations.
Piloting the No. 32 Construct Corps Toyota Camry around the 11-turn, 2.034-mile design road course, Marks posted the second fastest practice time overall with a time of 78.482 seconds at 92.796 miles per hour.
"We have a great car," said Marks. "We tweaked with a few minor issues during practice and it was basically getting more familiar with the track. I think at the end of the session, we were really starting to see the benefit of the test. Overall, we're pretty happy."
In qualifying, Marks was the second car in the first group and had 10 minutes to make his qualifying attempt. Marks's best lap during that run was a time of 78.480 or 92.798 miles per hour, a tick faster than his practice effort two hours earlier. His run would stand to be the second fastest qualifying time overall.
"We were shooting for the pole, but we'll take second," added Marks. "We have a good racecar for the race -- it will just take patience and staying on-course to put us in contention for the win."
On Saturday afternoon, the event took the green flag with threatening skies wandering in the distance at the Jupiter, Florida-based track. The action began early with Marks trying to take the lead going into the first two corners but contact with another competitor separated the No. 32 from the podium spots with Marks regaining his focus on the bigger goal and quickly moving back through the field.
While making that progression the rain began to fall from the sky on lap 20 with the caution waiving a few laps later allowing the teams to make the trip to pit road to change tires from the Hoosier slicks to the Hoosier wets.
Marks came to the attention of his team with crew chief Mike Chafee at the helm making the proper adjustments for a rain-conditioned event before sending their driver back into battle.
Restarting inside the top-10, Marks would not only have to deal with his first ever ARCA event in the rain -- but also the inexperience of several drivers ahead of him racing in a damp condition.
Mark's patience paid off as on lap 41 he took control of the field and kept the top spot until lap 56, opening a lead as much as 15 seconds on the field. Marks would give up the point to Robb Brent during the final round of pit stops of the day on lap 56 but would resume the lead when Brent pitted on lap 59. From there, the Rocklin, California driver maintained a comfortable 30 car length cushion over Brent until the skies opened up on lap 68, and the third and final caution flag of the day waved over the speedway. Marks crossed under the yellow and checkers waving together in a torrid down-pour, and the celebration was on.
"It was a great race - a great win for me...for Win-Tron, for Construct Corps," a soaked Marks proclaimed in victory lane. "It was the perfect rain conditions to run a rain race. The track was just wet enough to slide around, get on rain tires and find that line, but it never rained too hard, except for the last three laps when it just poured, and we could barely see."
Marks was also extremely thankful in victory lane and took time to thank all who made his career possible. "It feels great to win for my sponsor, Construct Corp," Marks exclaimed, who took over the points lead. "I ran my first ARCA race in 2005, so it's been a long time coming. I have had a lot of help along the way in the ARCA series, in RAB Racing, Jeff Buice at Shaver Motorsports, Germain Racing, and Venturini Motorsports - I have raced for a lot of different teams, and they all have played a part. They have all helped me. To be able to take everything I learned and apply it to what I feel is the best team out here, Win-Tron Racing, and really go for a championship, this is sort of vindication. It lets us all know that we have a winning combination, and we can really contend for the championship."
Win-Tron Racing co-owner and general manager Nate Thiesse was ecstatic with the weekend results. "We are so proud of the efforts of Justin this weekend. He was the man with the plan when we arrived in Palm Beach and he did not let us down. He played a smart race and was able to come out victorious. We hope that this is the first of many victories to come this season."
With the win, Marks captures the point's lead, 30 points ahead of second place competitors Robb Brent and Steve Arpin. It is the first time in Marks's stock car career where he has held the top spot in the championship standings.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a stop at Salem (Ind.) Speedway.
-source: win-tron racing