Misfortune Overshadows Performance for Marks at Toledo Toledo, OH (May 24, 2010) - Holding the points lead heading into The Menards 200 presented by Federated Auto Care, Justin Marks was looking forward to returning to Toledo Speedway for the ...
Misfortune Overshadows Performance for Marks at Toledo
Toledo, OH (May 24, 2010) - Holding the points lead heading into The Menards 200 presented by Federated Auto Care, Justin Marks was looking forward to returning to Toledo Speedway for the first time since 2007. Taking the green flag from the fifth starting position, he remained solidly within the top five the entire afternoon. Unfortunately, Marks' streak of four straight top-ten finishes ended with a blown tire in the closing laps of the event, forcing him to a 16th place finish.
"Today was unfortunate, but maybe this will just be our mulligan for this year," Marks said following the 200-lap event.
At the drop of the green flag, Justin quickly maneuvered his No. 32 Construct Corps Dodge Charger up one spot to fourth on the first lap, where he maintained position through the first two caution periods of the day. By lap 30, the driver started to explain a tight in, loose off condition to Crew Chief Mike Chaffee and the team. Co-owner of Win-Tron Racing Kevin Cywinski came over the radio and gave his driver a few tips and new lines to try in order to aid the problem without coming to pit road for adjustments.
After some advice and encouragement from Cywinski, Marks continued his strong run in the top five, maintaining his position though the No. 32 continued to get tighter as the laps clicked off. The most significant caution period of the day came at the halfway point of the race, when a big pileup in turns one and two forced the field into a red flag condition.
When the red flag was lifted, most of the field came down pit road for the first, and in some cases only, pit stop of the day. The Win-Tron crew went to work on the car, making a few adjustments, changing four tires and topping off with enough fuel to make it to the checkered flag. The quick stop by the crew helped Justin gain two spots coming off of pit road, lining him up in the fifth spot for the restart behind the top three who did not pit and pole sitter Chris Buescher.
The changes seemed to help the Construct Corps machine at the restart, as Justin was able to pull into the third position with 75 to go. However, Marks began to note the car was beginning to get extremely tight with about 50 laps to go. The car continued to be a handful for its pilot as he worked through lapped traffic with the rest of the leaders, and with five laps remaining the right front tire unexpectedly let go in turn one. After the team scrambled to change the flat and sent their driver back out into competition, they had already gone two laps down and crossed the finish line in 16th.
"It was a good day in how we ran, I was really proud of how we ran. We had really good pit stops; we were fast and in the top five all day," Marks noted. "It was just really unfortunate what happened because it was going to shape up to be an awesome points day. It's still not a total loss; it could end up being kind of a blessing in disguise because some other guys had problems and had a rough day too."
Patrick Sheltra edged Marks for the series points lead leaving Toledo by 10 points, with Steve Arpin falling to third, 55 points behind the No. 32. In two weeks the team will head to Pocono Raceway, hoping to bounce back and score a win at the 2.5 mile asphalt triangle.