Racer World Interview: Brent Marks
In our last interview we spoke with a young IMCA driver from Iowa. This time we have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about Brent Marks, a successful sprint car driver from Pennsylvania.
Racer World: Tell us about yourself. What’s your background?
Brent Marks: I’m from Myerstown, PA. I’m currently going to college at York Technical Institute and majoring in Electronics Engineering. I’m 19 years old and have been racing since I was 9. The 2010 racing season will be my 11th year racing.
RW: How’d you get started into racing? Is there any family history in the sport?
BM: I grew up at Williams Grove Speedway. My dad previously helped and sponsored a local 358 driver in the late 80’s/early 90’s and I’ve been hooked ever since. After that driver was injured in a crash my dad left the racing scene for about two to three years and then I began to bug him about starting my own career. In 1999 he finally said yes! We started out in the .425 Go-Kart class at Shippensburg Speedway.
RW: Take us back to your early success? Who has helped you get to where you are?
BM: My dad has been the main role in helping me get where I am today. This has been a family operation since I raced karts to today’s 410 sprint car. I have a great group of people that helped fund our cars throughout the years and I appreciate everything they have done to help my racing career.
My first year I accumulated 10 wins and won the championship. Years passed and I’ve gained over 275 career wins and 14 championships.
RW: What classes have you run? Progress you’ve made throughout them?
BM: I’ve run karts, Micro Sprints, a couple races in a Mini-Sprint, and currently the 410 Sprint Car. I feel throughout my career I have made a lot of progress to where I want to end up at someday. That would the World of Outlaws or running USAC. I have gone through the stepping-stones and with seat time we get better every week in the 410.
RW: Tell us about your car, what are you running?
RW: What’s the toughest part about being a young driver? Do you have any suggestions to up-and-coming drivers?
BM: The toughest thing about being a young driver in this division is the experience that you’re racing against. A lot of drivers have been racing longer than I’ve been alive and it’s a tough deal to outrun that level of experience.
Earning respect from veteran drivers is a tough task to take on as well. They expect it and they want you to deliver. My advice to any other young driver is to keep your head on your shoulders and worry about you and only you. There are no friends on the racetrack and what other drivers may feel or think doesn’t matter.
Learn at your own pace and race your own race. Don’t race the way they tell you to because they’re only trying to get into your head.
RW: What’s your favorite track to race that?
BM: That’d definitely have to be East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL.
RW: How does balancing your schooling with everything else go?
BM: It’s really difficult because racing is a full-time job. When you go to school, have a full or part-time job, work on the car and race, it’s sometimes next to impossible. But I’ve learned if you work hard enough it can be pulled of in a professional manner!
RW: Where can fans find out more information about you?