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Marks makes history at Eldora Speedway; Army vet fulfills dream of racing | Fast Lane

Marks is the only driver to win the Historical Big 1 and the Kings Royal in the same year.

YORK, Pa. — Another week the 'Myerstown Missile' won’t soon forget. Never count out Brent Marks no matter where he starts in the feature. The first of four races at the 'Big E,' Eldora Speedway, Marks finished 16th but from the first race, they learned a lot.

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Thursday night it was the return of the Historical Big 1.

Marks started deep in the pack and engage the turbos, he trucked from 14th to take the lead away from King Tyler, Tyler Courtney, with 15 laps to go, and cashed in on his biggest payday yet, $100,000.

Hanover's Logan Schuchart also made moves, he charged from 21st to close out the top five.

Rain pushed the Night Before the Kings Royal to the morning before. A surprise but not so much a surprise as Murray-Marks Motorsports decided to scratch and concentrate on the Kings Royal, just hours later that day.

Marks started sixth in the feature. As the cross sticks are in the air, Marks challenged 'Black Jack' Brian Brown for the lead and doesn’t shake him for a few laps. When he finally gained solo possession of the lead, it was a game of catch me if you can.

The Myerstown native became the first driver to sweep the Historical Big 1 and the Kings Royal in the same week and also, just the seventh driver to win both titles.

Military vet fulfills dream of racing

Every kids dream at one point, is to be a professional race car driver.

Five years ago, car owner and driver, Steve Buckwalter, put out a post on Facebook, looking for drivers for the Chili Bowl. Little did he know he was about to receive a long-distance call, seven-thousand miles away.

“I about hung the phone up on him because I could barely hear him, he’s cutting in and out. And, come to find out, he’s still in Iraq. And, I figured, if he’s over there fighting, for us. That’s my guy. We lined it up and he came to race for me the first year. It was a big learning curve for him," said Buckwalter.

“I got hooked up with Steve at the end of 2018. I called him when I was working my contracting job in Baghdad, Iraq. I called him up and he thought I was joking, I was dead serious," said Kevin Woody.

Woody is an Army veteran. He served in combat deployment to Afghanistan in 2012; earning his combat badge in June 2012. He then later served as a US State Department personnel security in Baghdad from 2015-2018, as a contractor. He resigned from his position to come home and start his own business, Combat Cleaning Services. That's when Woody connected with Buckwalter.

Woody’s racing career started when he was 24; later than most drivers. He always dreamed about racing since he was nine-years-old playing the racing video games and watched NASCAR every week; idolizing Jeff Gordon.

He used his deployment funds to buy his first race car, a 125. Woody's first race with Steve in was in the fall of 2018, and has raced the chili bowl a few times since

“From then ‘til now, it’s like a 100% different driver. He’s more use to the car. He’s getting better every time he gets in," said Buckwalter.

They team up sporadically throughout the year.

“Last year, we got the hard charger two races in a row. Which is the coolest thing I’ve ever done in racing. It’s not that cool but for me, who ain’t too experienced, can do anything good, means a lot,' said Woody.

Their schedules just happen to align this past weekend, which brought Woody back to one of his favorite tracks, Path Valley.

He knows he’s one of the only African-American drivers in the pits, trying to influence anyone, that anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.

“It’s a 10-hour drive but I just want them to know I share the passion same as them," said Woody.

Woody’s first feature win will have to wait another week, Garrett Mitchell starts fourth and wins the ARDC feature.

A battle in the 305s, Garrett Bard held off Doug Dotson. They come together in the closing laps. Dotson gave Bard a thumbs up before he pulled into victory lane.

After racing for the last 32-years, Rick Singleton finally picked up his first feature at the bull ring, in the modifieds. Cody Sites won the street stock feature and Brad Cowan picked up his first 270cc feature.

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