Mechanical Woes Stall Night for Marks at Berlin Raceway A Dose of Bad Luck Ends Good Run, Doesn't Stop Momentum Heading to New Jersey Marne, MI (August 9, 2010)- Rocklin, California Native Justin Marks has remained in the thick of the ARCA ...
Mechanical Woes Stall Night for Marks at Berlin Raceway
A Dose of Bad Luck Ends Good Run, Doesn't Stop Momentum Heading to New Jersey
Marne, MI (August 9, 2010)- Rocklin, California Native Justin Marks has remained in the thick of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards championship hunt all season by clicking off solid performances no matter what hurdle is thrown in his path. This weekend at Berlin presented the entire Win-Tron Racing team with its first mechanical failure of the season; ending a solid run but not dashing any hopes for the rest of 2010.
Kicking off the long day of racing on Saturday, Marks and his No. 32 Construct Corps team used the one and a half hour practice session to dial in the setup for the night's 200-lap main event. Starting out the session tight through both ends of the track, the Mike Chaffee-led team made changes to help the handling condition improve for Justin when the sun went down. As the fourth car out onto the track for the qualifying session just over an hour after practice had ended, Justin fought with a hot, slick track and laid down a lap time of 17.480 seconds. Drivers near the end of the session received a blessing of some cloud cover and a cooler track, creating a very tight field of qualifying times and relegating Justin to the 15th starting spot.
"Obviously it wasn't the best qualifying effort, so my goal was to find a rhythm and just kind of focus on learning what the car needed and drive it that way," remarked the 29-year old driver.
Taking a cautiously aggressive route from the start of the night, Justin strategically picked his way up through the pack, making it into the top ten by lap 42. The night's first caution flag flew on lap 54 as Justin radioed to his crew for the first time that his Construct Corps Charger was a little free in the corners, but overall pretty fast. Co-owner Kevin Cywinski suggested a few changes Justin could make in his driving line around the .4-mile oval, helping his driver move ahead a couple more spots after the restart to the eighth position.
Riding safely within the top-ten for the next 50 laps, Justin remained in touch with the leaders but reported the handling of his No. 32 went from loose to tight by lap 110. Driver and crew were waiting patiently for their chance to come down pit road for the first time, when the caution flag flew on lap 145. Just as Chaffee made the call to come down pit road for four tires, Marks came over the radio to explain the car had no drive and he believed the transmission had gone south. The team quickly thrashed to get the damaged transmission out after their driver pulled behind the wall, finding that something had come up from the track to punch a hole in the housing and cause the failure.
After just 29 laps, the Win-Tron Racing crew had a brand new transmission underneath their Construct Corps machine and sent Justin back out onto the track to make up as many laps and points as possible. Though it wasn't the night they were looking for, the crew pulled together in championship-caliber form to make the repairs in a timely fashion and helped their driver finish in the 21st position on the night.
"These Win-Tron guys are really well prepared," Marks stated after climbing out of the car. "You can never expect to go an entire season without an unforeseen circumstance and these guys were able to change the transmission quickly and get us back out to finish the race. It was worth a spot on the racetrack so for that I'm pretty happy. Just a tough night altogether, but the Construct Corps Dodge was strong and that's all we can ask for."
"We had a great car and a great run going, it's just unfortunate that we ran something over and broke something in the transmission housing. We're just going to pick up and move on to New Jersey because we know we're going to be strong after our performance at Palm Beach," Co-owner Nate Thiesse commented following the race.
With a win in the first road course race of the year at Palm Beach Speedway in February, Win-Tron Racing is expecting nothing less than to be a threat for the victory next Sunday afternoon. Dropping back to third in points, just 30 markers behind new leader Craig Goess, Marks and company are focusing their efforts to the running of the Garden State ARCA 150 presented by American Red Cross at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
"New Jersey is a good opportunity for us to get some of the points back that we lost at Berlin. The guys have worked to improve the car in a few key areas since Palm Beach and I think we can go there are contend for the pole and the win. I guess with the road courses as a strength of mine, this race comes at a good time when we need a little points rebound," Marks said.