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LEXINGTON OH - AUGUST 13: Justin Marks driver of the #42 Katerra Chevrolet celebrates in Victory Lane after taking first place in the 4th annual NASCAR XFINITY Series Mid-Ohio Challenge at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on August 13, 2016 in Lexington Ohio. (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images) | Getty Images
(Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)

ARCA Graduate of the Week: Justin Marks excelling as car owner at NASCAR’s top level

What Justin Marks has done in a short time as an owner in the NASCAR Cup Series is remarkable, but his success as an owner in a relatively short period of time has overshadowed his accomplishments as a driver.

That’s not to say that Marks didn’t get it done behind the wheel.

He picked up a historic win at Palm Beach International Raceway in 2010, the first time the ARCA Menards Series ran a road course race in the rain. When his ARCA driving career came to a close at the end of that season, he had racked up 12 top-five finishes – including that win at PBIR – and 26 top-10 finishes.

Marks then went on to race in each of NASCAR’s top national touring series. From 2007 through 2018, he made 38 career starts in the Camping World Truck Series with four top-10 finishes and a pair of pole awards. He made six starts in the Cup Series with a best finish of 12th in the 2018 Daytona 500.

His true success came in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and again, he found victory lane on a road course in the rain. Marks, who gained a lot of road course experience in karting and in sports cars, including a GT class victory in the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona, dominated in a rainstorm and scored his lone Xfinity victory at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course driving for owner Chip Ganassi.

Marks stepped out of the cockpit after a handful of IMSA starts in 2019, which included a win at Watkins Glen International driving for Meyer-Shank Racing, and has since focused on building Trackhouse Racing.

Marks has brought a unique vision to NASCAR team ownership, and has partnered with “Mr. Worldwide” – otherwise known as Pitbull – and made a powerhouse move when he purchased the assets of Chip Ganassi Racing’s NASCAR operation at the close of the 2021 season.

The team fields two cars for drivers Ross Chastain and Daniel Suarez, and with the NextGen car leveling the playing field the team has been ultra-competitive out of the box. Suarez, who himself has a record of success on the ARCA Menards Series platform with three wins in 43 East Series starts, was in position to fight for the victory at Auto Club Speedway earlier in the year, and Chastain has scored a pair of victories this year at Circuit of the Americas and Talladega Superspeedway.

The success Marks has tasted early in his career as a Cup Series team owner should come as no surprise. He was a partner in the former Turner-Scott Motorsports team that had a successful run in what is now the ARCA Menards Series East, and was the owner of record for William Byron’s championship season in 2015. Marks also had success as an owner in the World of Outlaws while teaming with co-owner Kyle Larson and driver Shane Stewart.