TOLEDO, Ohio (May 16, 2011) – – In his inaugural ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards debut at Toledo Speedway, Napoleon, Ohio native Jared Marks in the No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / UNOH Dodge Charger battled to a solid 13th place finish in Sunday’s Menards 200 presented by Federated Car Care.
The 16-year old development driver for Tony Marks Racing (TMR) entered his stock car debut with a lot of optimism and determination. His attentiveness to details on and off the race track paid off from the moment the green flag waived in practice Saturday afternoon.
Mother Nature played havoc with the track conditions early Saturday forcing adjustments in the day’s schedule which now included two practices and the cancellation of qualifying. Marks led the two-car tango of TMR in both practices by mounting the 13th fastest lap and 15th quickest lap respectively just ahead of teammate and Rookie of the Year candidate Maryeve Dufault.
But, because of the removal of time trials from the day’s activities, the Marks would start the 200-lap event shotgun on the field in the 31st position according to the 2011 ARCA Racing Series rule book.
For the second consecutive weekend, rain would drench the race track on race day forcing ARCA Racing Series officials to spend a majority of the morning drying the Northern Ohio race track. The command to start engines was given shortly before 2:00 p.m. with the drivers circling the track under yellow and green flag conditions together to officially begin the fourth race of the season.
The all-clear would be given by lap 20 putting the field under true racing conditions. Having to express patience, Marks would cautiously move his No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / UNOH Dodge through the running order and when the second caution flag waived on lap 26, Marks had brilliantly moved into the 18th position.
When racing resumed, Marks continued his move towards the front. Utilizing traffic and a well-handling car to his advantage Marks precisely inched up the leader board. A pileup on the backstretch on lap 37 would further climb the avid late model competitor up the rankings to 15th.
On lap 57 Marks found himself in a group of race cars when the No. 28 made contact with his teammate of Dufault which sent her No. 12 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports Dodge Charger hard into the wall. Marks himself barely escaped the incident but did manage to emerge unharmed sitting in the 11th position.
By lap 81, Marks had muscled his way into the top-10 and was holding his own in eighth, by lap 105, the No. 8 had slipped back into the 10th position but the yellow flag waived which allowed a prime opportunity for Marks to bring his automobile to pit road for four tires and fuel.
Unfortunately, the team had a miscue on pit road which cost the team their status on the lead lap. With coaching from spotter Darren Wolfe, the rookie driver had to drive an even smarter race to become in position for the lucky dog award.
Using his head, Marks’s patience would pay off when a caution waived on lap 138 which allowed the No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / UNOH Dodge Charger to return to lead lap status.
During the final stages of the event, Marks would have to once again use composure to thread his way back through the running order. By lap 179, Marks had worked his way back to the top-15.
The final restart of the race saw Marks restart in the 12th position but would lose a spot to Josh Williams (No. 14) on fresher tires coming to the checkered flag to claim 13th.
“I’m happy,” said Marks, a sophomore at Napoleon High School. “We had a really good No. 8 VR-12 / Dodge Motorsports / UNOH Dodge Charger. We had to overcome some adversity but our determination is what paid off in the end. The TMR crew did an excellent job all weekend with two really fast race cars. It’s a shame what happened to Maryeve, because it wasn’t her doing, but it was fun to race with her for a while.”
Marks added, “I just want to thank VR-12, Dodge, UNOH, Victory Water and everyone on the TMR team for everything. My first ARCA race was very memorable and I’m looking forward to the next race soon.”
Tony Marks, owner of TMR and father of Jared Marks commented on his son inaugural ARCA debut. “Jared did a great job,” he said. “He used his head, pushed the issue when he needed to and brought the car home with a solid finish. I really couldn’t ask for anything more. He was so calm on the radio too. I’m sure this is the first of many good finishes to come for him this season.”
Teammate Maryeve Dufault finished 23rd in her Toledo Speedway debut.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards is the lone stop at a road course. The ModSpace 150 is set for next Sunday, May 22 at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Millville, New Jersey for round five of 19 on the 2011 calendar.
For additional information on TMT, Inc. please visit; tmtcompanies.net. http://www.tmtcompanies.net/
To learn more about Tony Marks Racing, please click over to Tmr-racing.com http://www.tmr-racing.com/
See the buzz that VR-12 is creating by clicking over to their website at VR-12.com http://www.vr-12.com/ .
Quench yourself with Victory Water, see how at Victoryh20.com. http://www.victoryh2o.com/
About Tony Marks Racing (TMR):
Tony Marks Racing was founded in 2009 through the passion for racing of team owner and former driver Tony Marks. Marks is the successful owner of TMT, Inc., a logistics, warehousing and packaging company with over 400 employees whose customers are mainly comprised of Fortune 100 companies.
Marks began his racing career in 1985 getting behind the wheel of everything from drag racers, Dirt Late Models, SCCA Formula Fords, USAC F2000 Open Wheel and ARCA cars. Tony personally raced until 2005 amassing numerous wins, championships and track records along the way until he then changed his focus from driver to owner and began building racing programs for his children Jared (16 years old) and Rachel (13 years old). Under the auspices of TMR, Jared began his racing career in 2002 in quarter midgets and now competes in late model, CRA, ASA and ARCA Series events while Rachel continues her development program racing quarter midgets and Bandoleros.
TMR has been at the forefront of charitable giving through its’ “Driving Against Hunger” and “Million Meal Challenge” race programs which have raised over $200,000 for Forgotten Harvest in 2010 at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan International Speedway.
For the NASCAR events TMR along with TMT, Inc. partnered with Forgotten Harvest for the “Million Meal Challenge For Our Kids” which helps to bridge the hunger gap while schools are out of session and feeds 20,000 children per day in the Detroit metro area. Forgotten Harvest was significantly displayed on the entry of Chase Austin during both the Truck and Nationwide events at Michigan International Speedway along with logos of “Million Meal Challenge” sponsors Walgreen’s, United Race Group, Holyfield’s Choice Alka-Power Water and Vitamin Spice. Evander Holyfield was also instrumental in the challenge, acting as Grand Marshall for the August race and announcing his “Fight Against Hunger” on behalf of Forgotten Harvest.
As the first race team to “Drive Against Hunger” through their partnership with Forgotten Harvest, TMR plans to continue their alliance with Forgotten Harvest and once again “Drive Against Hunger” during the 2011 season.