Justin Marks Earns First NASCAR Win at Mid-Ohioby Kyle Pokrefky August 14, 2016 0 comments
The NASCAR XFINITY Series’s annual excursion to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course proved to be a wild one on Saturday as Justin Marks prevailed in the Mid-Ohio Challenge.
Marks, officially crowned a first-time winner at NASCAR’s national level on Saturday, wheeled his No. 42 Katerra Chevrolet to a commanding win in the rain after spending 43 of the race’s 75 laps in the lead.
Marks scored Chip Ganassi Racing’s second victory of the season in the NASCAR’s second-tier national series in what was personally his 12th start of the season in the series.
At the waving of the checkered flag, Marks crossed the finish line 3.707 seconds over the race’s second-place finisher, Sam Hornish Jr.
“This is a really special thing,” Marks said. “It’s great to have an opportunity to drive for great race teams. These guys have worked hard and been patient with me this year as I’ve gotten back into the swing of driving these things.
“Like I’ve said a couple of times, stock car racing in the rain is sort of my thing and I don’t have a lot of opportunities in my life and my career to be able to do it. Today was just a perfect day for me to kind of do what I’m good at.”
Following the top-two finishers across the finish line were Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon, Justin Allgaier, Erik Jones, Andy Lally, Brendan Gaughan, Elliott Sadler and Brennan Poole, who respectively rounded out the top-10 of the finishing order.
The wet conditions of the race proved to be troublesome for many of the race’s competitors. 32 laps of the race were spent under yellow flag conditions with the caution flag being displayed on eight separate occasions.
Rain brought out the caution on the third lap of the race, which provided teams an opportunity to switch to Goodyear’s wet weather tires that were available for use for the weekend.
The No. 97 machine of T.J. Bell brought out the second caution of the race for an excursion off-track on Lap 15 while pole-sitter Hornish Jr. brought out caution number three for the same reason on Lap 21.
Championship contender Daniel Suarez brought out the fourth caution of the day on Lap 29 as a multi-car incident involving Jones, Gaughan, Poole, Lally and Nelson Piquet Jr. was the cause for the fifth caution period on Lap 33.
Debris brought out caution number six on Lap 51 as an off-track trip for Tim Cowen brought out the seventh caution on Lap 57. Bell brought out the final caution of the race on Lap 72 for another trip off of the racing surface.
Following the conclusion of the XFINITY Series’s 21st event of the season, points leader Sadler extended his regular season points lead over Suarez to 21 markers with the Chase looming ahead.
The XFINITY Series will return to action next Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway with the Food City 300.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images