By MIKE MALLETT
WEEDSPORT, NY – Brent Marks has been running well as of late with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series. He got his first win back in early June and good things keep coming. Since the win, he’s had good cars come feature time but at times has hurt himself early in the night with poor qualifying efforts.
Sunday night at the Weedsport Speedway Marks put a whole night together. He qualified 11th quick out of 21 cars, which wasn’t spectacular, but it was enough to start near the front of a heat race. At the green in the heat he jumped up into the second position by using the top side. That’s where he finished putting him in the all-important dash redraw. He drew two which started him on the outside of the front of the dash, which he won. That set up the rest of his night which ended with him $10,000 richer and his second career World of Outlaws triumph.
“This is pretty special,” stated Marks after winning the Empire State Challenge 35-lap A-Main. “We’ve been really working on our program. I can’t believe I’m a two-time World of Outlaw winner right now.”
Marks joined in the front row by Jacob Allen. Marks beat him off of turn four to the green flag which allowed him to have the preferred groove entering the first corner. From there he made sure to get to the top of the race track working his No. 19m up beside the outside wall.
His pace was impressive as he kept Allen at bay. By the sixth lap Marks was already beginning to put cars at the back of the pack a lap down. Throughout the process, he remained in the outside groove with Allen staying in close contact with Sheldon Haudenschild entering into the equation by lap 10.
The race reached the halfway point with the trio close together in traffic. Marks refused to move off of his line while Allen and Haudenschild duked it out for second. Allen stuck his nose under Marks while Haudenschild tried to get by him on the outside.
“Passing as many as we did this year so far really helped me out in traffic,” joked Marks. “To me it’s just like another night trying to come from the back.”
On lap 23 the three cars crossed under the starter’s stand right together. Marks maintained control of the race while Haudenschild finally disposed of Allen for second as they raced into turns one and two. Now his full attention was placed on Marks at the front of the field.
Although Marks never relinquished the lead, Haudenschild worked him over hard even sticking his nose to the inside down the backstretch. This forced Marks to work even harder to stay out in front. He kept pounding his right rear off the cushion without mistake. Haudenshild tried to the same but he made a misstep with five laps to go which sucked his car into the wall. He was able to continue, but Marks checked out at this point.
“Trying to get through one and two was the hardest part,” commented Marks. “I saw Sheldon show his nose the one time and I knew I had to step it up. I was just trying to be patient and make sure I didn’t get into the wall or anything like that.”
Marks went on to win while Haudenschild kept pushing to no avail. The Wooster, Ohio, driver had no recourse but to settle for the second position after being so close to another series win.
“I got a run on him, but I had to be so low on the backstretch that I couldn’t do much going into three,” mentioned Haudenschild. “If I would have I probably would have drove through the side of him. When I did it I kind of stuck the middle there and had decent drive. He was up on the top and got a good run and squirted away from me there. Then I got into turn one wall and had to regroup again.”
Allen kept pace, but finished third as he continues to search for his first series win. On this night he was close as he challenged Marks early. As he searched for a quicker line Haudenschild got by putting him back to third which is where he ended up.
“Brent was really good in traffic,” stated Allen. “There was one part of the race where traffic slowed him up enough that I got close. He raced real hard and drove good laps. Then Sheldon got by me and showed me that I could race it a little harder. I’m happy with the night, but obviously I still want to get that first win.”
Brad Sweet ended up finishing in the fourth position with David Gravel, fresh of his Friday night win at Ransomville Speedway, finishing in fifth.
Weedsport Speedway – World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series – 7/29/18
Empire State Challenge A-Main (35-laps): 1. 19 – BRENT MARKS, 2. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 3. 1A – Jacob Allen, 4. 49 – Brad Sweet, 5. 5 – David Gravel, 6. 15 – Donny Schatz, 7. 45 – Chuck Hebing, 8. 18 – Ian Madsen, 9. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 10. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 11. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 12. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 13. 20W – Greg Wilson, 14. 33 – Mike Mahaney, 15. 99L – Larry Wight, 16. 5W – Lucas Wolfe, 17. 10 – Joe Kata, 18. 2 – Shane Stewart, 19. 98 – Joe Trenca, 20. 7S – Jason Sides, 21. 2X – Dave Axton
Heat #1: 1. 2 – Shane Stewart, 2. 45 – Chuck Hebing, 3. 5 – David Gravel, 4. 9 – Daryn Pittman, 5. 98 – Joe Trenca, 6. 5W – Lucas Wolfe, 7. 20W – Greg Wilson
Heat #2: 1. 49 – Brad Sweet, 2. 19 – Brent Marks, 3. 18 – Ian Madsen, 4. 1S – Logan Schuchart, 5. 11K – Kraig Kinser, 6. 2X – Dave Axton, 7. 7S – Jason Sides
Heat #3: 1. 1A – Jacob Allen, 2. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 3. 99L – Larry Wight, 4. 49X – Tim Shaffer, 5. 15 – Donny Schatz, 6. 33 – Mike Mahaney, 7. 10 – Joe Kata
Dash: 1. 19 – Brent Marks, 2. 1A – Jacob Allen, 3. 45 – Chuck Hebing, 4. 17 – Sheldon Haudenschild, 5. 2 – Shane Stewart, 6. 49 – Brad Sweet