Janson Marchbanks will be dialing in his Late Model Stock Car during this weekend’s competition at Florence Motor Speedway. The Anderson, South Carolina native had strong runs early in the year. His team travels down from the upstate to compete in the Florence Motor Speedway track championship.
Marchbanks proved to be solid at Florence when he won the Charlie Powell Memorial South Carolina 250 in a Limited car at the end of 2020. His love for the ragged-edge style of racing that Florence produces, along with the way that new track owner Steve Zacharias conducts the races is what keeps his team coming to the famous 4/10ths of a mile oval.
“The biggest thing always comes down to the track owners,” Marchbanks spoke highly of the new caretakers of FMS. “Steve Zacharias always comes down and greets us, asks how we’re doing, if we need anything. He tells us he appreciates us being there, which sets them apart from other tracks. Everybody there, from the staff to the tech guys are just great genuine people. Obviously, we had some success in the 250, but it is the people that keep us coming back.”
Marchbanks was the 2019 track champion at Anderson Motor Speedway in the Legends division. In 2020 the Limited Late Model was the next step up the ladder. Marchbanks is still a student during the week. His weekend task for 2021 is learning to wheel around the faster and harder-handling Late Model Stock Car. Florence Motor Speedway’s unique character allows Marchbanks a chance to approach the venue differently than other places that the team could choose to race at.
The Anderson, SC driver mentioned the challenges between the two Late Model classes.
“The biggest thing between a Limited and a Late Model Stock car is you have more power so you have to save a lot more,” Marchbanks noted. “With Limited Cars you can kind of mat it; the races are shorter you can muscle the car around a lot easier. With the Late Model Stocks, you have to be more observant. You have to ride and save tires to be there at the end. That is something I’ve struggled with moving into a Late Model.”
Marchbanks is a fan of the racing style that Florence provides. Its unique layout only has a wall on the front stretch. Drivers have to trust that their car will stick to the asphalt coming out of turn two. With no concrete barrier present, there is more room to ride the top of the track before going off into the weeds. Florence Motor Speedway colloquially calls it Chicken Bone Alley.
“Not having a wall was different at first,” Marchbanks explained. “It’s not like any other tracks I could compare. It’s hard at first trusting that your car is going to stick. You can drive it in deeper because there’s a little bit more room.”
The team plans to run other tracks in the weeks that Florence Motor Speedway is idle. They will run a few races at Hickory and Tri-County Motor Speedway, as well as the Valley Star 300 if things work out. The CARS Tour race at Florence is something Marchbanks is looking forward to as well. It will be the team’s first CARS Tour event when they come to Florence on October 2nd.
Marchbanks spoke with reverence about Steve Zacharias’ former track, Myrtle Beach Speedway. He lamented the fact that he never got to run any races at Myrtle Beach Speedway.
“Right when I started was when the land development deal happened at Myrtle Beach,” Marchbanks stated. “With the high banks and the speeds they run along with the tire wear, I wanted to run there, but we never got the opportunity.”
Marchbanks won the South Carolina state rookie of the year championship in 2020. The team is prepared to run for Whelen All-American series points while also competing for the Florence track title.
“Running around to different NASCAR all-American tracks, you’re going to accumulate points,” Marchbanks said. “We plan to run at least 25-30 races.”
Marchbanks has a very supportive family behind him. At most of the venues the team races at, his most vocal supporter is his mom. She can be spotted shouting and jumping up and down in the stands. Marchbanks has some integral Sponsors and people that help with his endeavors in Late Model Stock racing.
Marchbanks had a legion of people to thank that have committed to pushing their team to their first potential Late Model Stock win of 2021.
“I gotta thank Doortech LLC, Drastic Impact, Cisson Construction,” Marchbanks stated. “All the guys that help us out are so important. Meredith Motorsports does everything they can to help get around that track. Dillon Meredith, Neil Meredith, Chris Whitfield, Lee Malone, Michael and Jaime Altop. Those guys help me so much.”
Janson Marchbanks is looking to make his mark already in his young Late Model Stock career. Autism Awareness Night at Florence Motor Speedway has a scheduled green flag for Saturday at 2:40 pm. Florence Motor Speedway will feature twin 40 lap races for the Late Model Stocks. Support races will showcase Chargers, Vintage, Super Trucks, Thunder and Lightning, and Mini Stocks.
Follow Marchbanks and the action at Florence Motor Speedway this weekend with updates from race22.com, the Short Track Authority.