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The first-ever Governors Reign at Eldora Speedway may lack live spectators, but open wheel fans from around the world witnessed history on Tuesday evening at The Big E, as Myerstown, Pennsylvania’s Brent Marks drove his way to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory lane to secure the opening night win of the inaugural Governors Reign worth $10,000, broadcast exclusively on FloRacing.
Marks, driver of the CJB Motorsports/M&M Painting and Construction/BAPS Auto Paint and Supply/Eagle Hotel/No. 5 sprint car, started fourth on the A-Main grid and marched his way to the front by lap ten, eventually out dueling Kasey Kahne Racing’s James McFadden in a slide job after slide job battle from lap ten through lap 12. Although the former Outlaw and current Williams Grove Speedway championship contender was able to put McFadden by the wayside, Marks was later forced to deal with an ill handling race car, as apparent front-end damage plagued the familiar No. 5 with less than five circuits to navigate.
Despite a late charge by Kerry Madsen, nearly pulling even with the CJB Motorsports entry with just two circuits remaining, and a string of three consecutive cautions including a red flag incident on lap 21, Marks held strong, ultimately crossing under the final checkers to nail down a third-ever All Star Circuit of Champions victory, his first since 2015.
The “Madman” Kerry Madsen held on to finish second at Eldora Speedway, followed by Shane Stewart, a hard-charging Logan Schuchart who advanced 17 positions, and Kyle Larson Racing’s Carson Macedo.
“I was just trying to hold on there at the end,” Brent Marks said on the Eldora Speedway victory lane stage. “I hit a pretty big clump of mud at one point and I think it messed up my steering a little bit. It honestly felt like something could have been broken. At that point, I was just trying to hang on.
“I’m really confident heading into tomorrow, but I think we’ll have a little bit of a different track surface,” Marks continued. “I can’t thank my team enough. Everyone works so hard and I appreciate what they do. Hopefully we can come back here and do it again.”