DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 12, 2001) - At the season opening Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring event in late March at South Boston (Va.) Speedway Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, Conn., stood in victory lane with the team he won the...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (September 12, 2001) - At the season opening Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring event in late March at South Boston (Va.) Speedway Jerry Marquis of Broad Brook, Conn., stood in victory lane with the team he won the 2000 series championship with. Just a week later, Marquis was searching to put it all back together with a different team.
"It happened quick," related Marquis. "Everything changed, things unraveled. There were some differences and then I was looking for a ride. It made for a whirlwind start to things, we had to go race to race at first and that isn't the way to be in this business."
Following the South Boston event, Marquis landed with Mike Boehler and began to make the best of a difficult situation, so good in fact, he remained amongst the leaders in the series championship standings.
Mike Boehler of Freetown, Mass., is the son of the late Len Boehler, who has owned Featherlite Modified Series cars for nearly four decades. Boehler, who drove his own car last season and captured the rookie of the year award in the series, stepped aside as driver and turned the wheel over to Marquis.
"Jerry is a great driver," stated Boehler. "I've always been around this division because of my father. I had the desire to drive and we did okay last season, but when the opportunity to put Jerry in the car presented itself it was too good to refuse. Jerry has done a tremendous job for us and the results have shown that."
On Sunday in the series longest race of the season, the Sunoco/Thompson 300, Marquis used patience and a steady pace to his third victory of the season. During the early stages of the event Marquis raced within the top five holding steady track position. After a lap pitstop for four tires and fuel with 66 laps remaining, Marquis sped to the front and secured the lead on lap 256 from Ted Christopher.
"The guys had an awesome pitstop," offered Marquis. "I knew after the stop with the new tires that we had to get to work quickly. On the restart I just kept digging and we got by Ted (Christopher). A little bit later I thought Reggie (Ruggiero) was going to pass us, but I just kept the car in our groove and tried not to abuse the tires. It worked out and it provided us with a very special win today."
Earlier this season Boehler's father Len, passed away. In his years as an owner Lenny Boehler earned three Featherlite Modified Series championships with Wayne Anderson and Tony Hirschman driving. Mike is following in his father's footsteps and is looking to earn his first championship this season as a car owner. Marquis closed the lead to 100 points behind leader Mike Stefanik in the series championship chase with four races remaining.
"After South Boston, you could have asked me if I would have the opportunity to defend the championship and the answer would have been a simple no," explained Marquis. "But, with four races remaining anything can happen. We are just going to keep moving forward, doing our best and hopefully the points will take care of themselves. It is going to be exciting."
Marquis has 11 Featherlite Modified Series, NASCAR Touring victories and is currently third in the series championship standings behind Stefanik and John Blewett III.
The Featherlite Modified Series is one of nine NASCAR Touring series blanket the United States featuring special events at many NASCAR Weekly Racing Series tracks, some NASCAR superspeedways and road courses. NASCAR Touring Series can provide a competitor with an entire career, or they can provide valuable experience to competitors moving through the NASCAR ranks. Corporate sponsors make significant contributions to NASCAR Touring Series point funds. The sponsors include Anheuser-Busch, Featherlite Trailers, Gatorade, Goody's Headache Powders, O'Reilly Auto Parts, Raybestos Brakes, RE/MAX International, Inc., and R.J. Reynolds brand, Winston.