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Brent Marks completes last-lap pass to steal win in High Limit Racing event at Grandview Speedway

Leading on the final lap, Tyler “Sunshine” Courtney moved up to the outside lane in turn 2.

Little did Courtney know, Myerstown’s Brent Marks was lurking around the bottom and capitalized on the crucial mistake.

Marks flew by Courtney on the backstretch and stayed in front through the final two corners to steal the victory in the High Limit Racing winged 410 sprint car feature presented by the Thunder on the Hill Racing Series on Tuesday night at Grandview Speedway.

“I should’ve just kept doing what I was doing,” Courtney said. “I heard something to my outside so I went to go protect and just left the bottom wide open and just threw it away.”

Marks zoomed past Courtney to capture the 35-lap feature victory and the $20,000 winner’s prize at the one-third mile dirt track located outside Bechtelsville in Washington Township. Marks also captured a $2,000 bonus since he is a Pennsylvania-based driver.

The winner’s purse was the second-highest for a sprint car race in Grandview history. With 42 entries, Tuesday night marked the first time the track hosted more than 40 winged 410 sprint cars for an event since it welcomed 41 cars for a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series race on May 24, 2005.

“He was afraid that somebody was going to get the top working again, so he was just trying not to lose the race,” Marks said about Courtney. “It just goes to show you how bad we all want to win these races, and sometimes we make mistakes.”

The victory is Marks’ first career win at Grandview in his 20th appearance at the track and 18th in a winged sprint car. While Marks started the feature on the pole, the victory was anything but easy.

“I’m really excited about it,” Marks said. “We’ve been very close numerous times and always fell short and (it was) just very disappointing. To finally win a race here means a lot to me.”

Marks jumped to a big lead early and was able to successfully navigate a restart with 31 laps remaining to quickly regain his large lead. He remained well in front until lap 12 when he started to run into lapped traffic.

“We just had a really good car all night,” Marks said. “It just was about making smart decisions throughout the race.”

Marks weaved his way through traffic during the extended green flag run and was able to hold off Brad Sweet and Rico Abreu until he missed his line on the bottom, opening the door for Sweet.

“It was hard to be in on the racetrack there at times,” Marks said. “Our car was pretty good no matter where we went, it’s just once we got the lapped cars there, it was just so hard to get by some of them.”

Sweet passed Marks at the line with 10 laps remaining to take the lead. However, the five-time World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion would be unable to hold it.

Sweet missed his mark in turn 3 and almost spun out, allowing Marks to scoot by and retake the lead with six laps to go.

“I tried to make both lanes work,” Marks said. “The top lane wasn’t any better than the bottom.”

Brent Marks in his No. 19 car racing against Brad Sweet in his No. 49 on Tuesday at Grandview Speedway. (COURTESY OF SCOTT BENDER)

Marks made the same mistake on the next lap, missing his mark on the high side of turn 3 before almost spinning out. While Marks was able to keep moving forward, Courtney passed him on the bottom and took the lead with only five laps remaining.

“It was a hard-fought race and I thought I gave it up there at one point,” Marks said. “But luckily we got it back.”

The trend continued on the final lap, as Courtney got loose on the high side of the track and gave up the lead and ultimately the win. Courtney finished second, while Abreu, the defending race winner, took third.

“Any mistake you make, it’s exposed,” Courtney said. “I got the lead on somebody else’s mistake, and then I gave the win back on a mistake myself.”

The podium finishers in the High Limit Racing feature at Grandview Speedway: 1. Brent Marks (center). 2. Tyler Courtney (right). 3. Rico Abreu (left). (COURTESY OF SCOTT BENDER)

The win was Marks’ second in High Limit competition this season. Courtney remains atop the points standings after 19 races.

“It’s huge,” Marks said. “We’ve been working really hard to build our program to where it needs to be and have the consistency.”

The event served as race No. 4 of High Limit’s “Midweek Money Series,” in which Courtney is also the points leader. The victory was Marks’ first in the mini-series this year.

“I feel like we’re on the right track there,” Marks said. “Tonight really is a step in the right direction for us.”

Feature results (35 laps): 1. Brent Marks 2. Tyler Courtney 3. Rico Abreu 4. Brad Sweet 5. Corey Day 6. Parker Price-Miller 7. Tyler Ross 8. Tanner Thorson 9. Spencer Bayston 10. Zeb Wise 11. Justin Peck 12. Anthony Macri 13. Danny Dietrich 14. James McFadden 15. Cole Macedo 16. Cap Henry 17. Kyle Reinhardt 18. Reese Nowotarski 19. Kasey Kahne 20. Sye Lynch 21. Jacob Allen 22. Lucas Wolfe 23. T.J. Stutts 24. Brenham Crouch 25. Briggs Danner 26. Cory Eliason