Jerry Marquis Fourth In East Series' Debut At Mansfield Motorsports Park Mansfield, Ohio (August 25, 2007) - It's taken eleven NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races to do it, but NDS Motorsports got its first top-five finish of...
Jerry Marquis Fourth In East Series' Debut At Mansfield Motorsports Park
Mansfield, Ohio (August 25, 2007) - It's taken eleven NASCAR Grand National Division, Busch East Series races to do it, but NDS Motorsports got its first top-five finish of the season. Jerry Marquis took the No. 35 Waste Management Recycle America Chevrolet from the sixteenth position to finish fourth in the series first-ever race at the Mansfield Motorsports Park in Mansfield, Ohio.
Coming off an eleventh-place finish at Lime Rock Park last Saturday, Marquis returned to more familiar oval-track racing at the half-mile Mansfield track. The start of the day was promising to the Broad Brook, Conn. driver.
"We practiced on old tires," he said, "and we had a good car in the first practice, but it wasn't as good in the second practice. But at the end of that second one the car was hooking up and started to come around."
Qualifying through time trials, Marquis admitted, was not his strong suit, he wasn't going to let that hold him back in the race.
Despite qualifying halfway down the starting order, Marquis was quick to advance into the top ten. At the fifty-lap mark, he was already up to eighth. Halfway through, he was sixth and pressuring West Series visitor Brian Ickler for fifth, a position he took five laps later. He raced Jeffrey Earnhardt for fourth after a lap 84 restart, assuming that position on lap 87, and survived getting stacked up on a lap 105 restart to hold fourth position to the end.
"What a day. These guys did an excellent job all day long," he said after the race. "At the start of the race, the car was just on cruise control. It was awesome. I was riding behind some guys who were dicing and I knew I had to get by them, and I could just drive on by. You couldn't ask for a better car, though I wish it was just a little freer in the center for the last fifty laps. But we still got a fourth-place finish out of this deal, and I'm tickled pink."
Marquis enjoyed the best-handling car he's been in for some time.
"I could pass just about anywhere here with the way this car was set up. I was passing on the outside a lot, and I think the outside lane on restarts was the preferred line. At first, I didn't like it, but I hadn't found out how good the car was. It was amazing."
It was a long-time coming for the NDS Motorsports crew, which had a previous best finish of eighth earlier this year.
"These guys have had a tough year," Marquis said. "They kept telling me to go for it during the race. I didn't want to get into a situation where I could screw myself up and lose positions, but I did my best for these guys. It was a fourth-place car, and that's what we got. They've worked hard all season for a top-five finish, and I'm tickled to get one for them."
Marquis returns to Busch East competition at New Hampshire International Speedway on Friday, September 14th.