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Jun 27, 2011 - 07:34 PM
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2011 ARCA: Jared Marks Impresses In Just Second ARCA Start
Posted by: newsla on Jun 27, 2011 - 06:35 PM
2011 ARCA: Jared Marks Impresses In Just Second ARCA Start

Napoleon, Ohio native Jared Marks easily had a top-10 finish in the Winchester ARCA 200 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway Saturday night but the driver of the No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Mad Croc Dodge Charger became a victim of a flat-tire which ultimately resulted with the Tony Marks Racing team in the 12th position.


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Return to series’ competition after making his ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Toledo Speedway, Marks was eager to showcase his short track skills.

In practice, Marks with the aid of spotter and driver coach Jarit Johnson, brother of five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson maneuvered the ninth fastest time overall producing a lap of 16.467 seconds at 109.310 miles per hour.

After consulting with their driver after practice, the TMR team led by Darren Wolfe and Ryan Chism made slight changes to the No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Mad Croc Dodge Charger for qualifying set for later in the afternoon.

During time trials, the 16-year old hustled his race car around the half-mile oval in 16.248 seconds or 110.783 miles per hour, a solid pickup from his fastest lap in practice. The run secured Marks, a career-best ninth place qualifications run and the first top-10 qualifying run for TMR in 2011.

At the start of the Winchester ARCA 200, Marks found a comfortable hole where he rode and logged laps in the No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / Mad Croc Dodge Charger. When the caution flag waived on lap 10, Marks maintained a position inside the top-10 in 10th.

Remaining quiet on the radio, Marks was focused on returning to green flag racing where he was hoping green flag runs would inch the TMR machine through the running order.

Nestled in the top-10 when the caution flag waived approaching lap 30, the TMR team elected to bring their driver to pit road for two tires. Mistakenly though, Marks would be penalized one lap during the stop for pitting too soon thus putting a new agenda together for the Late Model star.

A quick yellow flag following the restart allowed Marks to retain his lost lap back, thus realigning the Tony Marks Racing development driver at the tail end of the field. As he began trekking his way towards the front, Marks during the long-green flag run was posting lap times faster than the leaders earning encouragement from Johnson and the team.

Re-climbing back into the top-10, Marks was setting himself up to be a contender during the second-half of the event but the right front tire would deflate on lap 91 causing Marks to slide up the track in turn two and make light contact with the wall.

The yellow flag would waive but Marks’s car would not immediately re-fire thus causing a sense of urgency for the TMR team. After several attempts, the car finally cranked over with Marks bringing his machine to pit road where the team surveyed the damage, changed tires and sent their driver back into battle.

Out of contention for the win, Marks would use the remainder of the race to acquire seat time in a 3400-pound stock car. Favorable lap times would slowly inch Marks up the scoring pylon as the quick race progressed. When the checkered flag flew, Marks claimed 12th, bettering his previous best finish of 13th last month at Toledo Speedway.

“A lot of us had tire problems tonight and unfortunately, we were one of them,” explained Marks. “If not for that, I think we could have easily finished in the top-10. I want to thank VR-12, Dodge, Mad Croc, UNOH and the Tony Marks Racing team for giving me the opportunity to race at Winchester and for a strong car.”

He added, “I want to thank Jarit for coming up to Winchester and helping me out. He’s a great mentor and someone I can lean on. I can’t tell you what that means to me, I hope he knows that.”

Father and co-owner Tony Marks expressed his thoughts on Saturday night’s performance. “I’m awfully proud of Jared,” said Marks. “He did a great job all night long even when the tire went down. He learned a lot out there again and continued to earn the respect of his competitors. Overall, I’m pleased and we’re all looking forward to Jared’s next race.”

Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is their final stop in the Great Lakes state with a stop at Berlin (Mich.) Raceway for the running of the Hantz Group 200 set for Saturday, July 9th.

The next ARCA race for the teenage sensation will be announced soon but is anticipated for either Berlin (Mich.) Raceway or Iowa Speedway in July.

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