Justin Marks and the No. 54 DGR-CROSLEY team earned an 11th-place finish in the Stratosphere 200 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway over the weekend. This resulted in the best finish of the season for the newly formed team and a career high finish for Marks in Las Vegas.
The No. 54 Crosley Toyota Tundra rolled out fast on Thursday afternoon when Marks took to the one-and-a-half-mile track for the first time in 10 years in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Marks was fastest on the speed charts early on and stayed there throughout the remainder of the first practice session. During the final practice session, the No. 54 Crosley Toyota was 10th quick.
"All of us have worked really hard on our program, and to come out here and have this kind of speed early on in our truck is something we're very excited about," said team President, David Gilliland after Thursday's two practice sessions.
On Friday afternoon Marks laid down two solid qualifying laps, earning a 7th-place starting position in the Stratosphere 200. When the green flag flew on Friday evening, the team faced some adversity early on after contact was made with another truck causing the No. 54 Toyota to get shuffled back several positions. On lap 15 of the 134-lap race, Marks spun coming off Turn 4 bringing out the first caution of the race. After going a lap down due to pitting for fresh tires, Marks raced his way into the free pass position and was scored 22nd at the end of Stage 1. He continued to work through the field after the team made a track bar adjustment and was scored 14th by the end of Stage 2. During Stage 3, the team continued to make positive adjustments on the No. 54 Crosley Toyota, which allowed Marks to race his way to an 11th-place finish.
"Overall it was a solid night for us. The guys brought me a truck that had a ton of speed," said Marks. "I struggled a little bit in traffic, and my inexperience in trucks over the last few years showed up when we were racing in traffic. Bono [Manion, Crew Chief] made some great adjustments, and we were able to bring it home in one piece. I was hoping for a top-10 finish, but just to finish the race and bring it home clean is pretty good. Thanks to David [Gilliland] and Bo LeMastus for the opportunity. Maybe we can do more [races] together later on in the season."
The team will have two weekends off to prepare for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on March 24.
DGR CROSLEY PR