MARKS TESTS TALLADEGA A DAY EARLY; READY TO RACE CONCORD, NC (9-25-07) With over 30 teams scheduled to show up for today's ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) open test at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Marks and Crew Chief, Robby Benton, opted to take ...
MARKS TESTS TALLADEGA A DAY EARLY; READY TO RACE
CONCORD, NC (9-25-07) With over 30 teams scheduled to show up for today's ARCA RE/MAX Series (ARS) open test at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Marks and Crew Chief, Robby Benton, opted to take advantage of a less than crowed track and test in yesterday's closed test session.
"Talladega is such an important race on the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule and a lot of teams try to run it," Justin Marks said. "We wanted to be able to test a day early with a few other teams to be able to take advantage of a more relaxed atmosphere with less teams. It takes a long time to get around this track and being able to maximize your on-track time is key."
In order to the capitalize on this closed test, the RAB team chose to test two cars, the 2007 Dodge Charger Marks raced in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and a 2006 Dodge Charger they recently obtained from Chip Ganassi Racing.
"We basically brought two different philosophies to the test," Marks continued. "There are two main schools of thought aero-wise in making these cars go fast by themselves and we wanted to be able to test the two theories and see what the main differences are and be able to make a judgment on which direction we wanted to go for the race. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and we ended up with two cars that were within a half a tenth of each other. We learned a lot and have a lot of good notes to work with back at the shop to prepare."
One of the perks of the team's private test session was that Marks was able to invite a longtime friend and former teammate, Joey Hand, to help double the amount of feedback from the racecars. Hand is currently driving for PTG Racing in the GT2 class of the American Le Mans Series and has won in the Speed World Challenge and Koni Challenge this year.
"Joey Hand is probably the best friend in racing I have made in my career. We were teammates at the factory-backed BMW Team PTG for 3 years together and won some very big races as teammates in the Rolex Sports Car Series. We wanted to bring a second driver to the test to maximize the team's efficiency with the two cars, so we invited Joey. He has very impressive feel of a racecar and I thought it could be both beneficial to the team and a fun thing to do for my friend. He's taught me a lot about racing and it was fun to be back on track with him again."
With an entry list containing over 10 drivers backed by prominent NASCAR NEXTEL Cup teams, the ARCA RE/MAX 250 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive races of the 2007 ARS schedule.
"It's going to be one of the toughest fields in ARCA Series history. I think it's very exciting. To be honest, I think it's awesome that Villenueve, Speed, Franchitti, Braun, McDowell, and I will all be in the race together. Road racing is something very dear to my heart and I take a lot of pride in seeing those names on the entry list. As for the race itself, I think we are going to have a very good car and I have enough experience on these plate tracks now that I think I can make some stuff happen. It's going to be tough but it's going to be fun."