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Lena Graduate Aids Carl Edwards Drive To The Winners Circle

Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 car and one of NASCAR’s most talented and colorful drivers, got a chance to work on his backflip early on in this year’s action as he cruised to a victory in the Subway Fresh Fit 500, which took place in Phoenix on March 3.

And local race fans can take some pride in the fact that Zach Marquardt, a 2010 graduate of Lena High School, is a key component of the team that keeps the wheels spinning for Edwards.

Marquardt is living out his dream every day as he has become a part of the fast paced world of professional racing and the #99 team. Zach’s main area of responsibility as part of crew chief Jimmy Fennig’s army of top flight automobile minds lies underneath the car where he works with gears, axles, brakes, drive plates, track bars, springs, etc.

2013 will be Marquardt’s fourth season working in NASCAR. He really began to make an impression at the tracks last season as he caught the eye of veteran car chiefs like Chad Knaus of the #48 Lowe’s Chevrolet, as well as Fennig.

At the end of last season’s racing, Zach was called into Hendrick Motorsports and had a meeting that put him on a path to head to Charlotte, NC and start work for the #48 team’s 2013 car.

The #48 team was in the process of re-aligning and determining where Zach would best fit into their garage. They let him know the team would be contacting him with his assignment shortly after last year’s Thanksgiving Day break.

While in the airport traveling back to Wisconsin to visit family and friends in Lena, Zach got a call from Dave Coty of Roush Fenway Racing. Coty had been asked by Fennig, newly selected crew chief for Edwards’ #99 car, to go out and get Zach to sign with the team.

On his first day back in North Carolina, Marquardt sat down with Coty and Fennig, who promptly offered the young technician a position on the #99 team.

Zach signed on the dotted line that day and the Marquardt family has since learned that Fennig and the rest of the Roush Racing team was more than happy to steal Zach away from the Hendrick organization. They signed Marquardt with the intention of putting the best young talent on their team so they can develop and groom them into becoming future car and crew chiefs.

Not bad for a 20 year old.

We’ll be checking in with Zach again as the NASCAR season progresses for the #99 team. Right now, he’s focused on learning the ins and outs of a new car while developing his skills as he progresses through the ranks of the racing world.


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