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Sat, 23 Nov 2013, 10:31 AM

IHRA Super Rod World Champion Dave Marcus Jr.
Courtesy of IHRA Communications

NORWALK, Ohio -- If you are looking for an unlikely champion from this year's Summit Tournament of Champions at Memphis International Raceway, look no further than longtime racer David Marcus Jr. from Sarasota, Florida.

Marcus has the stuff, there is no doubt about that. He has won major races, he has contended with the best, heck he won the Division 2 Super Rod championship on the Summit Pro-Am Tour earlier this year. But when it comes to taking down the best in the sport, not even Marcus was sure what lied ahead.

Dave Marcus Jr.
"To be perfectly honest, I was pretty thrilled when we made it down to four. At least then I knew that I was in the money and I could go home happy," Marcus said. "At that point I was actually pretty calm. It almost relaxes you when you make it down to the final few. You can regroup, take a breath and know that, either way, you are coming away with something."

With over 25 years of racing experience on his side and one heck of a season already under his belt, Marcus entered the finals against the winningest driver in IHRA competition over the past two seasons Jacob Elrod. In one of the most anticipated matchups of the entire Summit World Finals weekend, Marcus and Elrod put on a show and had one of the best finals of the year.

With the world championship in Super Rod on the line, Marcus nipped Elrod at the line with a .001 reaction time to Elrod's .004 light and used that incredibly small margin to take the win by .002 seconds at the line. Marcus crossed the finish line with a 9.930 elapsed time at 163.00 miles per hour in the 9.90 index class, while Elrod produced a 9.929 at 157.91 mph.

Dave Marcus Jr.
"I knew the final was going to be tough, but I just put that out of my head, got really calm and said let's just get in there and go for it," Marcus said. "Let me tell you, when I found out that I had won, I was going crazy in the car. I was jumping around and screaming. It was the greatest feeling in the world."

Marcus went four rounds on Sunday at Memphis International Raceway in his 1992 Chevrolet Camaro culminating with the narrow win over Elrod. Marcus had wins over Ernie Knight, Donald Webb and Mark Miles - essentially a who's who in Super Rod competition - while Elrod, driving his familiar Sunoco sponsored 2002 Corvette, recorded wins over Vernon Rowland, Kevin O'Brien and Tom Patterson.

Super Rod Final - Jacob Elrod (near) vs. Dave Marcus Jr.
Ironically, what got Marcus to the big dance was his reaction times. Marcus had lights of .007, .023, ..008 and .001 in his four rounds on Sunday, a stark contrast to his rough start to the weekend.

"The car has been running really awesome. It has been running the numbers in every round and I really had the tree together today. But that wasn't the case earlier in the weekend," Marcus said. "I was having a little trouble with a lot of red lights earlier. I just kept tinkering and tinkering with it and finally got it where I wanted it for Sunday."

Marcus also had to deal with a new lane in the final.

Dave Marcus Jr.
"In the final I got put in the right lane which I hadn't been in so all I could think was oh boy, here we go," Marcus said. "When I got in the box I clicked some numbers in, I knew it was a little quicker, and luckily I was on. Everything just came together perfect."

Marcus' victory at the Summit World Finals capped off a great year for the Floridian. He had two finals with one win and took the Division 2 championship on the Summit Pro-Am Tour. Championship runner-up Elrod also wrapped up a great season, winning the Division 3 title with four wins in seven finals on the year.

"What an incredible weekend all the way around. We had a great time, the track was incredible, we won the Editor's Choice award earlier in the weekend and capped it all off with the win here today," Marcus said. "I just really want to thank IHRA, Mickey Thompson Tires, JW Performance Race Transmissions, Jeff Kyger Incorporated, my dad and everyone that helps out with the car. IHRA does such an awesome job for the sportsman racers and we are proud to win this here today."

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