Marks Resumes Points Lead after Dodging Bullets at 'Dega Talladega, AL (April 27, 2010) - Restrictor plate racing traditionally breeds trouble for many drivers and teams, leaving all to rely on a lot of luck and chance to bring home a good...
Marks Resumes Points Lead after Dodging Bullets at 'Dega
Talladega, AL (April 27, 2010) - Restrictor plate racing traditionally breeds trouble for many drivers and teams, leaving all to rely on a lot of luck and chance to bring home a good finish at the end of the day. Heading into Friday afternoon's 250 mile ARCA Racing Series main event at Talladega, Justin Marks knew he would have to avoid misfortune in order to come away from the 2.66 mile superspeedway with his No. 32 Construct Corps Toyota in one piece.
"These restrictor plate races are always difficult," Marks expressed prior to the event. "I'm not a big fan of this type of racing, because I don't think you ever really get to use any of your talent. It's kind of like playing the lottery."
Marks, 29, made his fifth career stock car start at Talladega, and began the weekend with a strong practice session where he found himself third on the speed charts at the end of the day. Backing up a strong run in practice, Justin kept the power down during his qualifying laps and posted the third best time of the session, at 51.513seconds. The top-five start, Marks' fourth in a row this season, scored him five valuable championship points before the green flag flew. The Win-Tron team then decided to stay in the garage for the final practice session before the race on Friday morning, happy with the car and opting to stay out of possible trouble.
In the beginning stages of the race, Justin drafted with the leaders and stayed in the top three until the first caution flag was displayed at lap 18. Crew Chief Mike Chaffee brought his driver down pit road for two tires and fuel, which found Marks restarting in the 14th spot. With a car that continued to "suck up" to the rest of the pack, Justin picked his way through traffic and back into the top five in the running order.
The inevitable "Big One" took place behind the leaders and the No. 32, claiming several racecars just past halfway. The Win-Tron crew took advantage of a lengthy caution period for the accident and came back down pit road to top off on fuel and pull some tape off the grill of the Construct Corps machine.
Keeping his nose clean for the remainder of the 94 laps, Justin stayed well within the front pack and flirted with the lead. Unfortunately, he was shuffled back in the draft with two laps remaining, but safely guided his No. 32 machine home in the ninth position.
"Whenever you can come out of the plate races with a clean car and top-10 finish, it's a good thing," Justin said. "The Construct Corps Toyota was pretty good, it drafted real well. I tried to make a move and got stranded and went to the back during the middle run which kind of put us behind. I thought the bottom was the place to be at the end but it just started to bottleneck which gave the high line good momentum. Not quite the finish we wanted but we survived and got out of there with the points lead.
Marks resumed the top spot in the points standings, and is now ahead by 20 points over second place driver Steve Arpin. The ARCA Racing Series will take a few weeks off as the teams prepare to travel back to Toledo Speedway on Sunday, May 23rd for the Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care. Five races into the 20 race season, Marks and the Win-Tron Racing team are pleased with the accomplishments and performance so far, and look to continue along the same path.
"Consistency and smart driving have kept this team in the championship hunt," co-owner of Win-Tron Racing Nate Thiesse commented.b^0x001cSo far, we've done almost everything right and the attitude of the team has affected our on-track performance. Not to mention that Justin has been doing his job and finishing the races near the front."
Driver Justin Marks followed up with complements for his team.
"The Win-Tron guys have been doing a fantastic job this year and I'm looking forward to working hard over this little break to prepare for Toledo, Pocono, and Michigan.They're all tracks I love and have been successful at, so I'm definitely excited about getting into this stretch of races to begin the summer."