Solid Changes Help Marks Earn Another Top Five at Pocono Long Pond, PA (August 1, 2010)- Teamwork has been the key for Justin Marks and Win-Tron Racing this season, and this weekend at Pocono was no different as they progressively made changes...
Solid Changes Help Marks Earn Another Top Five at Pocono
Long Pond, PA (August 1, 2010)- Teamwork has been the key for Justin Marks and Win-Tron Racing this season, and this weekend at Pocono was no different as they progressively made changes to keep their No. 32 Construct Corps machine up front. Marks, the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards championship points leader, came into this weekend's Weis Markets 125 looking to extend his lead over the rest of the championship contenders.
The team unloaded their Toyota Camry Friday morning for the ARCA Racing Series' only practice session of the weekend with an entirely different setup than when it had last seen the track in June. Marks relayed during the first practice run that the car lacked forward bite off the corners and was pretty tight through turns two and three. The team gradually made changes to their machine throughout the next hour of practice, and Justin was able to lay down the ninth quickest time of the session.
Putting their heads together, the crew made more changes to the No. 32 prior to qualifying, hoping to aid their driver through all three unique turns at the "Tricky Triangle". The changes seemed to help once again, and the 29-year-old driver put down a 54.604 second lap, placing him sixth for the start of the Weis Markets 125 on Saturday afternoon.
One of the shortest races of the season, the 50-lap shootout on Saturday afternoon instilled a sense of urgency in all of the drivers, as they couldn't afford to wait in traffic and had to be aggressive to pick up spots in a short amount of time.
"You had to race as hard as you could, there wasn't any going back. It was going to be a one stop race, so you only had one shot at making a change that was going to work. You couldn't afford to wait in traffic quite as much, you had to be pretty aggressive and take advantage of every opportunity," driver Justin Marks said.
At the drop of the green flag, Justin initially moved up a few spots and was quiet on the radio until lap seven when he first reported the car was a little too snug all the way around the track. He continued to hang tough well within the top-10 until he could make his way to pit road for some adjustments.
For most of the teams, including Win-Tron, that chance for a pit stop came on lap 32 under the day's second caution period. Marks informed Crew Chief Mike Chaffee he would like to take a big swing at the setup of the No. 32 to fix the very tight condition he was experiencing all the way around the 2.5-mile asphalt giant. The Win-Tron pit crew went to straight to work as Marks slid to a stop in his pit box, producing a lightning quick stop that would gain their driver three spots during the round of pit stops.
Back out on the track, Justin restarted in the fourth position and went to work with just 15 laps remaining. Marks took advantage of the track position he received after leaving pit road and battled among the leaders before crossing the stripe on the final lap in fifth position.
"It was a solid run. I like where we ended up versus where we were when we unloaded on Friday," Justin expressed following the race.
"We were pretty tight in practice and made a good change for qualifying, and though we were still kind of tight at the beginning of the race the guys made a great change and had a really fast pit stop. We picked up spots from the stop and the change was good enough that we deserved to be there. I think we were a fifth place car and that's where we finished. It was another solid run and that's all we can ask for."
The finish at Pocono Raceway is Justin's fifth top-five of the season and helped him stay securely at the top of the championship point standings, 30 points ahead of second place Craig Goess (No. 81). Next weekend the teams head to Berlin Raceway in Merne, Michigan to race 200 laps at the .4-mile oval. Confidence among the Win-Tron team runs high heading to the short track, stemming from the success they've had at all short tracks this season.