By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Road course ringer Justin Marks earned a top-10 finish after spinning late in the Johnsonville 180 at Road America. Although Marks and fellow ‘ringer’ James Davison combined to lead just one lap, the duo were among the class of the NASCAR Xfinity Series field.
In the final run to the finish, Marks chased eventual race-winner Justin Allgaier and Davison in his No. 42 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet Camaro SS. As Davison’s Toyota Camry faded, the Chip Ganassi Racing driver desperately searched for a way past. Marks attempted a late ‘dive-bombing’ pass in turn five on Davison, locking up the brakes before he made contact. The duo spun, dropping them from second to third. Marks recovered to finish sixth with Davison in seventh.
Marks had been up front throughout the race. He traded paint often with Davison, along with Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Matt Tifft. While battling with Cole Custer and Ryan Truex, Marks slid off track, the others spinning, with fluid on the track. The veteran road racer kept his car pointed in the right direction, despite being in the grass, and continued on.
The sixth-place finish for Marks left him as the best finisher among the road course ringers in the Johnsonville 180. It was also his first top-10 of the season, as well as the sixth of his career.
With Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevrolet in the midst of a battle in the Owner’s Points Championship, Marks’ top-10 allowed the organization to close the gap to Team Penske’s No. 22 Ford Mustang. After Austin Cindric’s motor expired, Ganassi’s No. 42 is now just 35-points behind the No. 22. Both teams are locked into the Playoffs via wins, the No. 22 having five to the No. 42’s four victories.
Marks’ next scheduled race will be at the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he will compete in both the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America 400K as well as the Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 200.