ROSSBURG, Ohio – Brent Marks held off a late challenge from Kerry Madsen to win night one of the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Governors Reign hosted on Tuesday at Eldora Speedway.
It’s Marks’ fourth win of the year, which earned him a $10,000 prize against a stout field of 48 cars during Eldora’s only sprint car event of the season.
Madsen finished second, 1.412 seconds behind, and nearly took the lead with two laps to go when Marks’ pace had slowed due to damage caused by hitting a large chunk of clay in traffic. Marks used a slower car as they came to the one to go signal to keep Madsen at bay and surge to his biggest win of the season.
“This car was phenomenal all night long,” Marks said. “This is amazing. The first time in this car at Eldora Speedway. [CJB Motorsports] has always been fast here. I’ve felt really comfortable here. We were just really good all night long.
“I was just trying to hold on there at the end,” added Marks, whose car leaked fluid in victory lane.
Marks started the night by timing fastest in his group and he locked himself into the dash from there. David Gravel kicked the night off in style with a new track record in time trials, his 12.599-second lap shattering Craig Dollansky’s 18-year-old mark of 12.707 seconds.
Gravel appeared to be the early favorite, rolling to a convincing victory in his heat, but it was Marks who stayed steady and attacked at the right time.
James McFadden led the first nine laps before Marks took the lead from fourth on lap 10. McFadden countered to lead lap 12, but Marks got the Australian back for good in the next corner to eventually lead the final 19 circuits.
The Myerstown, Pa., native raced to a 2.5-second lead, but it vanished when series points leader Aaron Reutzel brought out the yellow with 10 laps to go. Two more quick cautions followed, one for Sheldon Haudenschild and another for Gravel, who spun when Madsen cut across his nose on the second-to-last restart.
That’s when Marks’ slim lead of a second with four laps to go turned into a short-lived battle for the win with two circuits left.
“Car was great. We had a big stumble problem at the start,” Madsen said. “Long runs I felt really comfortable. I could maneuver anywhere I wanted to in three and four. Two to go I finally shot off the top there and thought it was going to be good enough but [Marks] cut back under it. That was that.”
Marks sealed the win when he drove around the lapped car of Paul McMahan to take the white flag, ultimately stunting Madsen’s momentum.
“I think we’ll have a little bit of a different track tomorrow,” Marks said. “I think it’ll be a little more slick and get nice and wide there. … This car was a lot of fun to drive. It feels awesome to be back in victory lane at Eldora Speedway again.”
Shane Stewart finished third in the Indy Race Parts No. 71. Logan Schuchart raced to fourth from the B-Main. Carson Macedo finished fifth.
Jacob Allen charged to sixth from 23rd, while McFadden, Parker Price-Miller, Kyle Larson and Donny Schatz rounded out the top 10.
1. 5-Brent Marks ; 2. 2M-Kerry Madsen ; 3. 71-Shane Stewart ; 4. 1S-Logan Schuchart ; 5. 2-Carson Macedo ; 6. 1A-Jacob Allen ; 7. 9-James McFadden ; 8. 14P-Parker Price-Miller ; 9. 57-Kyle Larson ; 10. 15-Donny Schatz ; 11. 18-Gio Scelzi ; 12. 49-Brad Sweet ; 13. 14-Tim Kaeding ; 14. 21-Brian Brown ; 15. 26-Cory Eliason ; 16. 21B-Christopher Bell ; 17. 41-David Gravel ; 18. 7BC-Tyler Courtney ; 19. 39-Sammy Swindell ; 20. 17-Ian Madsen ; 21. 13-Paul McMahan ; 22. 17A-Austin McCarl ; 23. 17S-Sheldon Haudenschild ; 24. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 25. 12N-Joey Saldana .