Win-Tron and Marks Solid, But Struck by Adversity at Rockingham Rockingham, NC (October 11, 2010)- The 2010 season finale of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards at Rockingham Speedway Saturday afternoon summed up a season of...
Win-Tron and Marks Solid, But Struck by Adversity at Rockingham
Rockingham, NC (October 11, 2010)- The 2010 season finale of the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards at Rockingham Speedway Saturday afternoon summed up a season of highs and lows for Win-Tron Racing and driver Justin Marks. Following suit with the 19 races that preceded it, the American 200 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service provided tight racing and clean battles on the track, with Marks and the No. 32 Construct Corps Dodge Charger put on yet another strong showing. However, bad luck would again loom in the path of the Win-Tron team just past halfway in the 200-lap event, hindering a finish that would have showcased their performance.
Electing to take part in the open testing session on Thursday afternoon at the historic one mile oval, Crew Chief Mike Chaffee and his team focused on a long run setup that would keep speed in the car for Justin on old tires. The car clicked off consistent speeds lap after lap as the tires wore down, and Marks turned the fourth fastest time of the Friday's qualifying session with a lap time of 24.805 seconds.
The green flag dropped shortly after 1:30 PM on Saturday afternoon and Marks cruised through the first 50 laps of the event in second position. A caution flag on lap 51 gave the Win-Tron Racing crew the chance they needed to bring their driver down pit road and make some adjustments to the No. 32 Construct Corps Charger. After four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, the pit crew finished their work quick enough to help Justin gain three spots in pit road. Restarting third just a few laps later gave Marks the track position he needed and he pulled into the lead easily on lap 62.
Setting the pace for the next 25 laps, Marks seemed to have set the cruise control in the Construct Corps machine, until he began reporting around lap 90 the tight condition in the middle of the corners had returned. He began to fall back through the top ten to save his equipment until he could make another pit stop for more adjustments, but discovered a much more serious problem than the handling was developing.
Just past halfway Marks radioed to his Win-Tron crew that something was amiss in the engine. After switching ignition boxes and assuring Crew Chief Mike Chaffee that all of the gauges had normal readings, Marks continued making laps around the track until the next caution flag just before lap 150. The crew took a peek under the hood but found nothing they could fix on pit road, sending Justin back onto the track for the remaining 50 laps of battle. The looming problem in the power plant of the No. 32 would ultimately cause Marks to fall back to a 16th place finish.
"More than anything, I'm really proud of this team and the fast Construct Corps Dodge we had today," Marks commented following the season finale event. "These guys never give up and I was really happy with the way our car handled all weekend. We found a good setup during the test session on Thursday that really put us in the position to just make minor adjustments today. I had a lot of fun this year and this race was no exception. Mechanical failures happen sometimes and that's just out of our hands. We were fast, we led laps, and I was happy with the car. You can't ask for much more than that."
Leading those laps gave Marks five bonus points that ultimately pushed him ahead of Dakoda Armstrong for the sixth spot in the championship point standings. Though the final outcome of the 2010 season was bittersweet for the Win-Tron team as the championship title they were hoping for didn't come, driver and crew were still pleased with their performance and championship contention.
"Even though we didn't end up with the championship title, I still think we showed what this team is really made of," Co-Owner of Win-Tron Racing Nate Thiesse commented. "These guys pulled together week after week, worked extra hours in the shop to get the car ready and never complained. Our performance on the track really showed the dedication Win-Tron Racing has, and we're very pleased with the job Justin Marks did behind the wheel for us all year long."
-source: win-tron racing