John Marking Racing Hangs Tough at CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series at Bark River, Michigan - Maintains Top Spot in Series Standings El Cajon, California -- (July 12, 2006) Fresh off a solid performance at Crandon International Off Road Raceway, John...
John Marking Racing Hangs Tough at CORR Lucas Oil Pro Series at Bark River, Michigan - Maintains Top Spot in Series Standings
El Cajon, California -- (July 12, 2006) Fresh off a solid performance at Crandon International Off Road Raceway, John Marking Racing set up headquarters at the race shop of Greaves Motorsports in De Pere, Wisconsin and prepped the #4 Viejas Casino/FOX Racing Shox FORD Pro-Lite in preparation for the ultimate battle in Rounds 6 & 7 at Bark River, Michigan.
The 2006 CORR rookie driver, John Marking, was facing yet another new track that he'd never raced on and 20+ fire breathing racers, all in search of the top spot. All this with a race truck that had very little test time on it, as John continued to work on the set up of his truck. And although technically a CORR rookie driver, his off-road racing experience spans two decades of winning.
CORR Lucas Oil Pro-Lite Race Recap - Saturday - Round 6
The morning practice was solid as the # 4 truck went through the paces at speed and John familiarized himself with the high speed turns, off-camber hill descent and the big jumps that make up the Bark River Raceway.
Weather forecasters had predicted rain in the afternoon, but no one could predict that the rain would deluge the race course only moments before the Pro-Lite field was about to take the green flag. The race track had been exquisitely groomed by track officials. Then Mother Nature let loose with a thunderstorm that turned the track into a mud fest.
"I've seen a lot in the many years of off road racing, but this was a new experience, as the heavy mud changed my race strategy. After the two practice sessions, I had the truck working good and then as we lined up and waited for the green flag the rain came hard. The first turn was a challenge, but we were able to get out in front and run with the leaders," remarked Marking.
As the track deteriorated, so did the experience level, as Marking made a costly error that dropped him a spot to fifth position in round five. John looped his truck in turn three during the onslaught of heavy rain, allowing Mark Oberg to move into fourth position in front of the #4 FORD truck, before Marking took his first-ever checkered flag at Bark River, Michigan.
With the truck caked with the heavy Michigan mud, the crew got to work right away in preparation for Sunday's race.
CORR Lucas Oil Pro-Lite Race Recap - Sunday - Round 6
With predictions for clear skies most of the day and the # 4 Viejas Casino/FOX Racing Shox truck prepped for another day of racing, John prepared for round six after suffering through challenges of the slick mud in round five.
Having succeeded in running with the leaders early in every race, John prepared for what was expected to be a wild start. With track conditions nearly perfect, the green flag dropped and the #4 Pro-Lite battled door-to-door into the first turn with 2004 Pro-Lite Champion, Kyle LeDuc and Maxxis-sponsored Randy Eller. Emerging out of the first turn in the top four, Marking was forced to drive defensively as he defended his turf. The resulting driving tactics sidelined the #4 truck with a right front flat tire that forced John to pull into the "hot pits" and change the tire.
John explained, "In the CORR Racing Series, an early flat tire takes you out of contention immediately. The truck ran really well, but the flat tire in the first few laps really hurt us. Our Goodyear Tires have performed for us all season long and this flat was a result of hard driving and no fault can be attributed to it other than my driving. It was an earned flat."
Marking finished the race in 13th position, scoring valuable series points and gaining additional seat and track time in the newly built Viejas Casino/FOX Racing Shox Pro-Lite.
After six rounds of Championship Off Road Racing, John Marking concluded the weekend in 6th place overall with a total of 35 total points and within range to catapult into the top three in his search for winning rookie season in the CORR Series. Ten more rounds of great racing are still to come over the next few months, ranging from Chula Vista, California and back to Crandon, Wisconsin.