Justin Marks conquered the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on Saturday, driving the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet to a rain-soaked Victory Lane. The newest track on the XFINITY Series schedule, Mid-Ohio has only hosted four races in the last four seasons but Saturday’s race showed that the 2.258-mile road course may be the hardest track on the schedule.
In 75 laps, there were eight cautions taking up 32 laps. Most of these cautions were due indirectly to rain on the racetrack. The fourth race in the history of NASCAR to be run in the rain, Saturday featured quite possibly the hardest rains ever seen during an active stock car race. Thus, many drivers ended up off the racetrack multiple times, whether by run-off due to a lack of grip or losing control of the car and spinning out.
At the end of the day, Marks wheeled his Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet through the carnage and took the checkered flag. Marks, who won eight Grand-Am races including the 2009 Rolex 24 At Daytona, used his experience driving in heavy rain to lead 43 laps. It’s the California native’s first XFINITY series win in the 25th start for the part-time driver; Marks drives the No. 42 in races Kyle Larson does not compete in.
Coming in second was Ohio native Sam Hornish Jr., who started on the pole and looked to be the favorite before the rain came in. Ryan Blaney ended up third while Ty Dillon followed up his third last year with a fourth this year. Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five.
Andy Lally finished seventh in Mario Gosselin’s usual car after Gosselin hired the Grand-Am champion to race for him. Lally responded by running in the top five for much of the day before getting the team its first ever top 10.
Alon Day was running eighth on the final lap before a spin knocked him back to 13th. Day, who recorded the best finish ever for MBM Motorsports, made history by becoming the very first NASCAR driver from Israel.
Points leader Elliott Sadler finished ninth and increased his points lead to 25 points over Daniel Suarez. Suarez struggled to a 23rd finish after getting stuck in the sand pit off turn four on lap 28 and lost a lap.