After Strong Test, Justin Marks Looking Forward To Kentucky CONCORD, North Carolina (Monday, July 3, 2006) - - The rear of Justin Mark's No. 2 Shaver Motorsports Pontiac may have a big yellow rookie stripe across it, but Marks looked more like a...
After Strong Test, Justin Marks Looking Forward To Kentucky
CONCORD, North Carolina (Monday, July 3, 2006) - - The rear of Justin Mark's No. 2 Shaver Motorsports Pontiac may have a big yellow rookie stripe across it, but Marks looked more like a veteran in the ARCA RE/MAX Series open test session at Kentucky Speedway last Monday.
With the above being said, Marks is aiming high for this week's event looking to score his second top ten finish of his early ARCA career with the guidance of Shaver Motorsports, led by Jeff Buice.
Marks, who earned his career best ARCA RE/MAX Series finish of tenth last month at Michigan International Speedway utilized the eight hour test session at the Sparta, Kentucky track to prepare himself for this week's WLWT Channel 5-150.
"We really headed into the Kentucky test with some momentum after our strong finish at Michigan," said Marks a factory driver for BMW of North America in the American Le Mans Series' GT2 class. "I don't have a lot of experience in a stock car, but I'm learning so much and our results are showing it. We accomplished one of our goals at Michigan, now we're on to the next."
Unofficially at the test, Marks, driving the Spy Optic-No Fear Pontiac recorded the fastest time with a quick lap of 31.240 seconds at 172.855 mph. Fellow ARCA RE/MAX Series competitor Matt Hagans closely followed Marks with a time of 31.290 seconds or 172.579 mph. "It felt really good, I'm so excited," remarked Marks of the test session. "Jeff Buice (crew chief) and his entire Shaver Motorsports team have really put a lot of effort into my program and its showing. We have a very strong car for the race."
Marks continued, "I've never raced at Kentucky, but it is a very fast track. I think I adapted to it well. I've raced at Pocono and Michigan this season and they are nothing like Kentucky. That's good for me. I'm using this season to try and get myself familiar with the different types of racetracks the series competes on and so far, I think I've done pretty well."
"After the Kentucky test, we are really feeling good about the race," said Marks a protoge in the Shaver Motorsports Driver Development Program. "I really think that Friday's race is going to be really close in competition and that's why we came to the test. I'm really proud of what we were able to accomplish, we hope to back it up when it counts."
Expectations for the race remain high for the rookie, but Marks doesn't mind the pressure. "I'm used to all sorts of pressure. After our performance at the test, I think everyone really expects us to be a factor for the win. There's no doubt in my mind that we can do it, but anything can happen. If we can load up with another top ten, we reached our goal."
Rolling into Kentucky, Marks has three ARCA RE/MAX Series starts to his resume. Last October, Marks burst into the ARCA world at Talladega Superspeedway. Thundering horsepower with the powerful Shaver Motorsports restrictor plate program, Marks practiced both sessions inside the top-12 before boasting a fifth place qualifying effort. A threat from the start of the race considered the rookie as a sleeper, but obstacles near the end of the event left a sour 21st place finish in his mouth.
This season he has competed in two events at Pocono and Michigan. In Pocono, Marks surfaced as a contender in the late stages of the race battling inside the top ten before an incident with another competitor swept away his chances for a career day. He finished 23rd.
Next up was Michigan, a day that Marks won't forget. After starting deep in the field, Marks blasted his way through the pack sending Shaver Motorsports to their first top-ten effort of the season crossing the line tenth. Earlier this season, Shaver Motorsports with car owner Dan Shaver aboard finished a strong 12th in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.