Salem II: Justin Marks race report

Teamwork Prevails for Win-Tron; Marks Scores Top-Five at Salem Speedway Salem, IN (September 20, 2010)- Drivers in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards have consistently put on a good show for the fans week in and week out this...

Teamwork Prevails for Win-Tron; Marks Scores Top-Five at Salem Speedway Salem, IN (September 20, 2010)- Drivers in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards have consistently put on a good show for the fans week in and week out this season, and the tight competition and hard, clean racing under the lights this Saturday night at Salem Speedway was a continuation of that trend. Win-Tron Racing and the pilot of their No.32 Construct Corps Dodge Charger, Justin Marks, kept themselves in contention by staying out of trouble and racing cleanly all evening, allowing them to bring home yet another solid top-five finish after 200 laps.

Following a short-track battle at Toledo Speedway last Sunday, the Win-Tron Racing team went to work at their Lakeville, Minnesota facility to prepare the primary Construct Corps Dodge for competition at Salem Speedway this Saturday. On-track incidents left the No.32 machine with some cosmetic damage that needed repair following a fourth place finish at the Ohio track, and the team's confidence in that very same car motivated them to repair all of the damage and get it back on track for Salem.

After a long week of work, the crew unloaded Saturday morning and found almost immediately their work had paid off. Marks set the fourth fastest time in practice with a 17.653 second lap on Saturday afternoon, giving a good indication of the speed they would have for the qualifying session and the race later that evening. Improving from practice, Justin laid down a lap in time trials of 17.307 seconds that would place him on the outside of the front row to begin the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic.

The high banks of Salem Speedway have been known to produce chaotic, caution-filled events in the past, but uncharacteristic long green flag runs appeared this time around and limited strategy options for Crew Chief Mike Chaffee and the Win-Tron crew. After starting on the outside of the front row, Marks held the Construct Corps machine steady in the top three for most of the first half of the race, clicking off laps and easing his way through the heavy traffic caused by the long green flag runs. Making the decision to come down pit road for the first stop of the night to take right side tires only on lap 52, the Win-Tron crew performed the service to the No. 32 and sent Marks back out in the third spot.

Continuing to bide his time and stay out of trouble, Marks held his position in third until a caution just past halfway brought most of the field down pit road. Crew Chief Chaffee decided to leave Justin out on the track and hope for a later caution to take advantage of the four tires left in their pit box. By staying out, Justin was able to gain bonus points for leading laps under the caution, but slid back into the ninth position after the drop of the green as cars with fresher tires moved ahead. Shortly after the restart, another caution flag flew over the field, and Justin was able to bring his car down pit road for four fresh Hoosiers and Sunoco fuel.

Though the four tires put some speed back into the Construct Corps Dodge, passing became an issue later on in the evening with several lapped cars plugging up the track, making it difficult for the 29-year-old driver to move back up through the field. However, the setup underneath the No. 32 was better on long runs, and with plenty of green flag racing left to the finish after the final pit stop, Justin picked off cars one by one and made his way back to the fifth position as the checkered flag came out. "We had a really good car for the race," Marks concluded following the 200 lap battle. "The Construct Corps team put afast qualifying setup on it to get us a front row start. I justrode for a good part of the race. Usually these Salem races arepretty chaotic and there's a lot of contact so I tried to be smart anddrive conservatively to let the race come back to us.

"Passing was difficult and everyone was racing so hard for every inch of racetrack. We had a good long- run car; we were able to capitalize on a few mistakes made by other drivers and get atop-five finish.All in all it was a really fun night."

The fifth place finish initially moved Justin back into the sixth position in the championship point standings, behind race winner at Salem Dakoda Armstrong. ARCA announced on Monday however that point penalties may be assessed to Armstrong as a result of post-race inspection infractions, which would move Marks back into the fifth position with 4125 points. Stay tuned to to see the official point standings after Salem.

-source: win-tron racing

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Series ARCA
Drivers Justin Marks , Dakoda Armstrong