Brent Marks lingered around his truck and trailer on a humid Independence Day night at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway, making himself available to fans who strolled the back pit area following the night’s Pennsylvania Speedweek finale.
His dad, Jeffrey Marks, had arrived on the scene after packing up the merchandise trailer, the telltale sign it was time to depart.
On that evening, the Marks family completed a strenuous 10-day journey through the Keystone State and the driver who makes things go around had enough scruff on his 30-year-old face to exhibit the grind.
But even after that exhausting stretch had concluded, and even after Marks fell 24 points short of the series title to Danny Dietrich, there he stood, posing for a selfie with a supporter in front of his red No. 19 sprint car.
Winning his seventh feature of the season earlier in the night — all since leaving CJB Motorsports to return to running his own race team — certainly helped morale and fan support, too.
His family, like they’ve always done, just let Marks be himself.
“I think he has more energy now than he ever had before,” Jeffrey Marks said. “I do think he learned a lot from CJB, which has helped him with his own team. He’s on his high right now.”
Two years after pulling off the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series tour to freshen his perspective driving for CJB Motorsports and spend more time with family, Marks is back and more energized than ever aboard his own sprint car.
He is, quite simply, ready to make this second stint the one that’s worthwhile.
Since the return to preparing his own cars on April 24, Marks has tallied his most wins in a single season: seven, as of July 4.
One of those triumphs was an emphatic World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series triumph at Ohio’s Eldora Speedway.
Marks, who turns 31 in December, believes the notion that a driver enters their preeminent years sometime in their 30s. For that reason, he feels he will best maximize the years ahead by calling his own shots, prompting his return to the family car.
“I know you have to be a very mature driver to be successful in sprint car racing, especially at the World of Outlaws level,” Marks said. “If you want to be a champion, you have to have that maturity.
“A lot of that comes with age and experience,” he continued. “I could see why everybody says when you get to your mid-30s it’s kind of when you start seeing drivers hit their prime. A lot of that is just because they are getting to an age where they obviously get more mature, but also the experience.”
Seat time is obviously important. Experience means more than on-track happenings, too. It’s experience on how to deal with situations such as managing the good, navigating the bad and dealing with people in a team setting.
Marks has only run for two teams full time during his sprint car career — his family and CJB Motorsports.
From 2010 to ‘16, Marks laid the groundwork of his family operation before hitting the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series tour for three years, starting at age 27 in 2017.
He won four times during that three-year span, highlighted by a Williams Grove National Open win in 2019 before pulling off the tour at the end of the year.
That took him to an important 2020 season with CJB Motorsports. There, Marks freshened his perspective as a driver, applying most of his focus behind the wheel while experienced crew chief Barry Jackson prepared the race cars.
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