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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Justin Marks Shakes Off the Rust at Mid-Ohio

Marks is set for Mid-Ohio. (Taylor Kitchen | The Podium Finish

Marks is set for Mid-Ohio. (Taylor Kitchen | The Podium Finish

Trackhouse Racing’s very own, Justin Marks, shook off the racing rust.

Marks hopped into the No.41 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet for the O’Reilly Auto Parts 150. This was his first NASCAR start since 2018.

“I got a great opportunity here with Niece [Motorsports] and Rob Rose… everybody at Worldwide Express and everyone that’s supportive of Niece and supportive of Trackhouse, so it was kind of a neat opportunity to get back in the car again, but my rust is showing a little bit for sure,” he said.

Shaking off the cobwebs proved to be a bit of a challenge on Friday as Marks would have to face wet track condition during practice.

Unfortunately for Marks, he was only able to complete five laps during practice. However, he believes it was the best move he could have made for himself and the team.

“Honestly, when it was wet in the beginning of the session, I didn’t bother going out because it just doesn’t look like it’s going to rain in the race, so I didn’t want to put a truck and a team at risk,” he said.

Though ‘playing it safe’ may have its positives, it also has its negatives.

What is the result of minimal practice? Marks has no clue what he is dealing with.

Justin Marks is ready to roll at Mid-Ohio. (Taylor Kitchen | The Podium Finish)

Justin Marks is ready to roll at Mid-Ohio. (Taylor Kitchen | The Podium Finish)

“I don’t really know what we’ve got. I mean, I think we’ve made some changes and we’ve got it going in the right direction so now just go out and clean a couple things up, push hard and see if we can get a decent starting spot,” he said.

The challenge for a decent starting spot would quickly end during Friday’s qualifying session as rain rued the day.

However, the challenge did not completely fail.

After only completing the qualifying sessions for Group A and Group B, Marks found himself starting Saturday’s race in the eighth position.

Marks did not seem to miss a beat after placing ninth in stage 1. Despite placing outside of the top 10 in stage 2, Marks bided his time, unafraid of going three wide at times as he worked his way back to the front.

However, Marks suffered a brake failure on lap 51, going off the track near turns 4 and 5, hitting the tire barrier.

Unlike his Xfinity experience at Mid-Ohio, Marks placed 32nd in his Truck one-off.

“Well, I was having a good race, “Marks said to FOX NASCAR’s Josh Sims. “First of all, I have to apologize to the 52 (Stewart Friesen) team. I tore the front off his truck. I didn’t mean to do that. I just made a mistake.

“We were having a really good race. We were one change away from really having a pretty solid top 10 truck. Got spun there for some really odd reason. And then we had a brake failure going into five. So, it was a bummer. I appreciate the opportunity to come race here. It was fun dicing up with some of these guys. It was a bummer it ended early.”

Despite the tough result, Marks enjoyed his opportunity, gaining more appreciation with the experiences that his Cup drivers, Daniel Suárez and Ross Chastain, endure on a weekly basis.

“It’s hard racing,” he shared. “They just run you off the road. If they don’t find a way by you cleanly, they knock you out of the way. That’s kind of what I’ve been seeing on TV.

“It was a lot of fun. It’s really tough racing. Especially at these races without pit stops, there’s no strategy. You just go as hard as you can. It was laughing, getting mad but all in all, it was really fun, and I’ll leave it to the professionals from here on out.”

Twenty-two year old Ohio native, Taylor Kitchen, has a passion for motorsports! She is currently working towards obtaining her degree in Broadcast Journalism with a Specialization in Marketing and Sport Management at Bowling Green State University. You can find more of Taylor's motorsports media work through her YouTube channel, "Above The Yellow Line".

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