By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
David Gilliland Racing-Crosley announced Tuesday that Justin Marks will replace Bo LeMastus in the No. 54 Crosley Toyota Tundra for Friday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It’ll be Marks’ first Truck Series start since February 2016 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and his first at Las Vegas in 10 years.
Marks, who’s running full-time in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, said the deal to run for DGR-Crolsey was a late decision, but he’s looking forward to provide a great result for the new team.
“The Truck Series has always been one of my favorite in all of racing in America,” Marks said. “The opportunity to drive for DGR-Crosley came pretty late but everything that David and Bo have done to build a competitive operation made it a very compelling situation to get back in a truck. All the pieces are there for us to have a great night and a great result for the Crosley Toyota.”
LeMastus, who’s also the the President of Crosley Sports Group, ran the first two races with little success. The 55-year-old Louisville, Kentucky native was involved in a multi-truck crash at Daytona, ending his NASCAR debut in 30th.
The following week at Atlanta, LeMastus brought the No. 54 truck home to a lead-lap finish in 17th. Despite a lead-lap finish, he was criticized by championship leader Johnny Sauter for slowing him up and voiced his displeasure after the race.
“I don’t even know if he knows what day of the week it is,” Sauter said. “I’ve never seen such a squirrel in my whole life.”
LeMastus sits 27th in the series standings, 79 markers behind Sauter.
President of DGR-Crosley and veteran driver David Gilliland is confident having Marks driving his truck in Sin City.
“Justin is a great talent and someone that has extensive racing experience across several different series,” Gilliland said. “We are happy to have him in our equipment and believe he gives us a great opportunity to leave Vegas with a solid finish.”
Friday’s Stratosphere 200 will be Marks first NASCAR start since leading Rick Ware Racing’s No. 51 Harry’s Chevrolet to a career-high 12th-place finish in the Daytona 500. Prior to Daytona, Ware’s team had only finished inside the top-30 twice with Timmy Hill’s 28th-place effort at Kansas last May being its previous best.
In 37 previous starts in the Truck Series, Marks captured two poles and four top-10 finishes, half of those being a career-high eighth-place efforts at Homestead (2007) and Daytona (2008) when he drove for Germain Racing.