Tha Sports Junkies 101

Justin Marks Wins XFINITY Series Race At Mid-Ohio


Justin Marks used every bit of his road racing background Saturday when he won his first career XFINITY Series race at Mid Ohio Sports Car Course when rain plagued most of the event. The part-time driver of the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet used his knack to outpace the field despite not having the fastest car in what very little dry conditions the race ran in. Sam Hornish Jr. finished second, followed by Ryan Blaney, Ty Dillon and Justin Allgaier to round out the top 5.

Justin Marks win came on his 25th start came in a race filled with eight cautions for 32 laps and countless cars going off track, including Marks himself on Lap 32 as rain came and went over the Lexington, Ohio, road course. It returned in its hardest form on the final lap around the 13-turn road course, as Marks managed a healthy distance over the field to finish with a 3.7 second lead.

“It means the world,” said an emotional Marks after the race with NBC Sports. “I’m not a big time race car driver, I’ve had a big career with a lot of rides and stuff. Just means a lot to be able to get an opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing and to get a win. I wish my family was here.”

Marks has made 12 starts this season in the No. 42 car. Before 2016 he had never made more than five starts in any of his previous six seasons. His previous best finish was sixth at Mid-Ohio in 2014.

Other storylines from Saturday’s Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course include:

  • Erik Jones finished sixth despite receiving damage from a five-car accident on Lap 33. He holds the most wins for a series regular this year with 3.
  • Owen Kelly, competing in his first race of any kind in three years in the #18 JGR Toyota struggled all day. Despite leading briefly on the Lap 10 restart on rain tires, he later spun going through the esses shortly after. Kelly later briefly led under caution, but finished 16th.
  • On Lap 29, Daniel Suarez brought out the fourth caution for getting stuck in the sand trap. The No. 19 finished 23rd, a lap behind winner Justin Marks.

Next Race Up: The NASCAR XFINITY Series has a 6 day turnaround before racing Friday night at Bristol for the Food City 300.