Dominating Weekend Cut Short For Marks at New Jersey Millville, NJ (August 16, 2010)- Starting from the pole for Sunday's Garden State ARCA 150 presented by American Red Cross after a dominating performance during Saturday's dual practice ...
Dominating Weekend Cut Short For Marks at New Jersey
Millville, NJ (August 16, 2010)- Starting from the pole for Sunday's Garden State ARCA 150 presented by American Red Cross after a dominating performance during Saturday's dual practice sessions, Justin Marks appeared to be on his way to a perfect weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Justin's diverse road racing background, paired with a quick racecar prepared by his Win-Tron Racing team was a seemingly unbeatable combination until bad luck came around for the second time in as many weeks, shortening the team's day unexpectedly.
The Construct Corps Dodge Charger was quick right off the truck and the weekend began as the Lakeville, Minnesota-based team had planned. After a small setback during the first practice due to a tangle up with the No. 02 of Josh Williams, Marks went back to work during the second practice session to set the fastest time of the day's dual sessions, with a 82.534 second lap. Consistent with the practice results, Justin easily covered the field during the afternoon's qualifying session, sitting on the pole with a time of 82.355 seconds.
"We came here wanting to get the pole and lead the most laps and win the race. I'm fortunate that the guys put together a really good race Construct Corps Charger, and it's pretty easy to drive," Marks commented after grabbing the pole award.
It was apparent from the drop of the green flag that Marks would continue his dominance on the 2.5-mile course, as he pulled out to a nearly five second lead within the first ten laps of the race. By lap seven, Justin had already sent the message to his crew that the car was handling perfectly and with no complaints over the radio, he eased the No. 32 skillfully through all the turns, easily keeping his competitors behind him.
Lap 28 rolled around and Justin pulled down pit road for the first round of pit stops, a little earlier than some of his competition but still in the lead and running strong. After four fresh Hoosiers and a full tank of Sunoco fuel, Marks went back to work on the field and reclaimed the lead just five laps later.
Just 11 laps later, the next full course caution came out and presented the Win-Tron crew with a prime opportunity to bring their driver back down pit road for four more tires and enough fuel to make it the rest of the way to the checkered flag. With 24 laps remaining, Justin would restart in the seventh position behind those who chose not to pit under the yellow. Determined to get back to the front of the field, Marks chose his lines wisely and began to pick off the cars ahead of him one by one. Yet another caution flag was thrown on lap 50 for a spin on the front stretch and Justin found himself sitting in fourth position with a prime chance to gain some ground on the three cars ahead of him once the field went back to racing. Unfortunately, just as he was maneuvering the Construct Corps Dodge around the car in front of him on that first green flag lap, Marks was hit from behind by Chris Buescher and sent sailing off into the tire barrier inside of turn one. The impact would damage the dominant car beyond repair, and Justin was relegated to a 20th place finish.
"The day was turning out just the way we wanted it to; we had really awesome car the guys put together and I was just cruising along with no drama for the first half of the race. We didn't get the greatest fuel mileage, so we had to pit a little earlier than some of the other guys and got shuffled back a little in the running order.
"I was just hitting my marks from there, slowly working my way back up until that last restart when the 17 car (Chris Buescher), had a better restart than I did. I pulled down to the inside going into turn one and as soon as I got on the brakes I felt him run into the back of me and shove me into the inside wall. Sometimes stuff like that just happens I guess," a disappointed Marks
The incident would push Marks from third to fourth in the point standings, now 75 points behind leader Frank Kimmel. On a weekend where it appeared the Construct Corps team had the field covered, with a prime opportunity to gain points they had lost from a weekend of bad luck just eight days before at Berlin Raceway, they had to load up a torn up racecar 13 laps shy of the finish.
The ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards rolls into the Illinois State Fairgrounds next weekend for the Allen Crowe 100. Motivation to get back on top of the championship point standings will push Win-Tron Racing and Justin through the remainder of the season, shaking the gremlins from the last two weeks.
"I think we just try to continue to do everything we can to win races, plain and simple," Marks said.