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Zachary Marks dominates to claim Wake County season opener

Andy Marquis | WCS

Zachary Marks led wire-to-wire in Friday night’s season opener at Wake County Speedway in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The 26-year-old from Angier, North Carolina and 2016 track champion passed pole-sitter Eric Winslow on the first lap of the 60 lap Metal Deports Late Model feature and never looked back.  Behind him, a frantic battle for second took place throughout much of the race, but Marks was relieved the action was behind him.

“I’m just glad everything was behind us,” Marks said in Victory Lane.  “It seems like every race we’ve run, something halfway through goes wrong and costs us the race but this time, something finally fell our way.  We spent, from the last race last year to now, preparing the car this year and it looks like it paid off.”

Eric Winslow, making his first career Wake County Speedway start, fell back to the fourth position at one point in the race but reclaimed the second position with a brave move with around 20 laps to go.  As Cory Walker and Thomas Chappell battled for the second position, Winslow drove to the inside and, with a three-wide pass, took the position and drove away.

“It just kind of fell in my lap there,” Winslow said. “I would say this was a pretty good trip for our first time to Wake County.  Definitely it’s a tough track to get a hold of. It’s a fun track to drive. I’m really glad we came.  Just didn’t have enough there at the end.  I kind of used my stuff up trying to get back through the field, but for our first time at Wake County, I’m really happy.”

Walker and Chappell were in a perpetual state of battle for position, first for second, then for third, for much of the race.  Walker ended up taking the spot while Chappell settled for fourth and Stephen Ford came home fifth.

The complete results can be found below.

Late Models

  1. Zachary Marks
  2. Eric Winslow
  3. Cory Walker
  4. Thomas Chappell
  5. Stephen Ford
  6. Aaron Champion
  7. Kevin Jeffreys
  8. Sammy Pacitti

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Marquis comes from St. Charles, Maryland and has a widespread background in journalism, having covered politics in Washington and Maryland as well as nearly every form of auto racing, including NASCAR, IndyCar, AMA Motocross and IHRA Drag Racing. Now living near Emerald Isle, North Carolina, Marquis covers Late Model Stock Cars and Super Late Models in the Carolinas and Virginia.

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