Justin Marks went into Friday night’s Lucas Oil 200 looking for results, and impressive results are what he received. In only his second career start at Dover International Speedway, Marks’ claimed the Keystone Light Pole Award for the 200-lap battle at “The Monster Mile” and raced on to finish 10th at the infamous one-mile oval.
“Obviously it was a great weekend for us,” said Marks after the race. “We've been working so hard to find our chemistry, especially between me and Doug (Wolcott, Crew Chief), and turn that into results. We all felt like we had all the tools we needed to accomplish something, it was just a matter of putting them to use in the most effective way.”
After unloading “pretty good” but struggling with an ill-handling truck in practice; the GoPro team hit on “something” that led them down the path towards the pole position. “I think right towards the end of second practice we hit on something that immediately made the GoPro Chevy pretty racey and comfortable,” Marks’ explained. As practice came to a close, the team did not make a qualifying run, leaving the competition unaware of the threat lingering for the pole. “In qualifying I just tried to hold it wide open and it was beautiful,” Marks’ explained. “(It was) really a testament to what Doug has put together and how hard these guys are working to bring a good product to the track.”
Marks’ won the Keystone Light Pole Award with a lap of 22.941 seconds at a speed of 156.924 miles per hour – nearly a tenth of a second faster than the time posted by NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular, Kevin Harvick. The pole was the second of Marks' career; his first pole came at Texas Motor Speedway in June of 2008.
After leading the field to the green flag, Marks’ had his hands full. He battled an ill-handling truck and a pit road penalty, but remained in the top-12 for most of the race. “We just struggled all day with being a bit free on entry and tight through the middle of the corner, kind of similar to practice,” Marks' said. “I felt we made some good adjustments throughout the day that put us in a position to keep up and contend to be in the top-10 at the end of the day - which we did.”
Finishing in the top-10 has been the goal of the team all year. Getting the pole, well that was just icing on the cake. “Finishing in the top-10 has really been our goal regardless of where we qualify,” said Marks. “That didn't change when we won the pole. The goal was to still finish in the top-10, get some good points, and restore confidence in this GoPro team. I just can't wait to get to the track now and keep rolling.”
Turn One Racing PR