Jared Marks Juggling School To Follow Racing Dreams
NEW SMYRNA BEACH, February 10, 2011: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, Jared Marks found himself nose deep in the pressure of keeping a strong sophomore academic record alive at Napoleon High School. But starting Thursday and for nine additional nights, Marks will shift his focus to his passion of racing at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway for the 45th Annual World Series in the Super Late Model (SLM) and Crate Late Model (CLM) divisions respectively.
Though never having the opportunity to actual race at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, Marks care of his Tony Marks Racing (TMR) team spent their off-season profusely getting the 16-year old development driver accustomed to the tricky short track’s demeanor. In addition to his Late Model, Marks even tested the heavier 3,400-pound ARCA stock car, gathering a feel for the heavier machine as he’ll take to the diverse tour later this season.
When the first green flag flies on Friday night, February 11th, Marks in his No. 5 Tony Marks Racing Dodge Charger looks for consistency and comfort to set the tone for the short track version of Speedweeks 2011 with crew chief Jamie Roulo on top of the box, calling the shots.
“Testing went well despite the rain we faced,” offered Marks, a second-generation racer. “We gained a lot of knowledge during the test that I think will be useful for all nine days of competition.”
The youngster also commented on working alongside his newest friend, Roulo. “I’m looking forward to having Jamie on our side at New Smyrna. I’m counting on him to critique me all the way around. I want to know when I’m doing something right and I definitely want to know when I’m doing something wrong. His help will only make me a better driver.”
It’s a big week for the Marks family. While Jared Marks is hoping to nestle into a comfortable presence at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway, his father Tony Marks will be eyeing a successful season opener in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway, approximately 15 miles southwest of New Smyrna with his TMR teammate Maryeve Dufault.
“I’m really proud of everything my dad has accomplished in such a short time with TMR,” continued the younger Marks, who himself tested competitively in an ARCA car at the 2.5-mile monster superspeedway last month. “He is a very busy guy, but he has really done a lot to not only support my racing career but help bring other drivers racing dreams come true. I hope it’s going to be a good couple weeks for TMR.”
Once the ARCA Racing Series season-opener is in the books, Jared Marks will have the solo support of his father at his side striving to make him proud by accomplishing his own personal goal.
“My goal is to survive all nine nights,” Marked offered. “I want to look at the whole nine nights as one big race in both divisions. If we can finish all the races, than I will be extremely satisfied with our effort. Without a doubt, we are capable of winning and that’s what I want to do for everyone at TMR, but I’m also trying to be realistic and not set the goals too high for myself. Focus is my determination and finishing will be my strength onto the next one (race).”
To further aid him in his trial and tribulations at New Smyrna, Jarit Johnson, brother of five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson and an avid race car driver himself will be on-hand to critique and steer Marks in the right direction.
“Jarit is just like one of us,” Marks commented. “He’s a great guy who wants to race. I am very thankful to him for caring so much about my racing career and program. He’s definitely taught me some things over the last week or two and I know I will only continue to learn more as I converse with him.”
For Johnson, himself a competitive racer, his early intuition of Marks reminds him a lot of himself.
“Jared is a good kid,” said Johnson, who also hails starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. “I’m all about helping. Jared does a good job listening and asking questions and that is one of the necessities of being an up and coming driver. It should be a fun week at New Smyrna.”
In addition to running a limited Late Model schedule this year across the Country, the Napoleon, Ohio native will also compete in a second part-time ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards entry for Tony Marks Racing tentatively set to liftoff from Salem (Ind.) Speedway on May 1, 2011.
About Tony Marks Racing (TMR):
Tony Marks Racing was founded in 2009 through the passion for racing of team owner and former driver Tony Marks. Marks is the successful owner of TMT, Inc., a logistics, warehousing and packaging company with over 400 employees whose customers are mainly comprised of Fortune 100 companies.
Marks began his racing career in 1985 getting behind the wheel of everything from drag racers, Dirt Late Models, SCCA Formula Fords, USAC F2000 Open Wheel and ARCA cars. Tony personally raced until 2005 amassing numerous wins, championships and track records along the way until he then changed his focus from driver to owner and began building racing programs for his children Jared (16 years old) and Rachel (13 years old). Under the auspices of TMR, Jared began his racing career in 2002 in quarter midgets and now competes in late model, CRA, ASA and ARCA Series events while Rachel continues her development program racing quarter midgets and Bandoleros.
TMR has been at the forefront of charitable giving through its’ “Driving Against Hunger” and “Million Meal Challenge” race programs which have raised over $200,000 for Forgotten Harvest in 2010 at the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series events at Michigan International Speedway.
For the NASCAR events TMR along with TMT, Inc. partnered with Forgotten Harvest for the “Million Meal Challenge For Our Kids” which helps to bridge the hunger gap while schools are out of session and feeds 20,000 children per day in the Detroit metro area. Forgotten Harvest was significantly displayed on the entry of Chase Austin during both the Truck and Nationwide events at Michigan International Speedway along with logos of “Million Meal Challenge” sponsors Walgreen’s, United Race Group, Holyfield’s Choice Alka-Power Water and Vitamin Spice. Evander Holyfield was also instrumental in the challenge, acting as Grand Marshall for the August race and announcing his “Fight Against Hunger” on behalf of Forgotten Harvest.
As the first race team to “Drive Against Hunger” through their partnership with Forgotten Harvest, TMR plans to continue their alliance with Forgotten Harvest and once again “Drive Against Hunger” during the 2011 season.
For additional information on TMT, Inc. please visit; tmtcompanies.net.