John Marking
RACER/PIONEER

John Marking

John Marking joins the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame with a racing background, but he is perhaps best known for his work in the field of shock absorber development and technology.

Bolstered by his love of desert racing, John went to work at Jimco Racing Products in 1988, the same year he enrolled in the Engineering program at San Diego State University. As a side business, John started rebuilding and modifying shock absorbers.

    In 1992 John began his career at Fox Racing Shox, and for the next 28 years, he played a significant role in the engineering, design, and manufacturing, of off-road shock absorbers.

    “As cutting edge as Fox’s marketing has been, the real heartbeat of the company’s massive and influential growth is found in a continuous trajectory of product development. No single aspect of the off-road industry is more crucial to performance and reliability than tires and shock absorbers, and no single company outside of Fox has led the way in suspension advancements. Almost all of that history leads right back to John Marking.” –ORMHOF inductee Marty Fiolka

    In 2001, John redesigned the internal bypass shock for larger vehicles, leading the way for major manufacturers like Ford, Toyota, Jeep, Can-Am, and Polaris to introduce high performance off-road worthy vehicles to a new generation of enthusiasts.

    John was also a successful off-road competitor, as noted by Dirt Sports when he raced in the 2004 CORR Series behind the wheel of a Johnny Greaves built Pro-Lite truck: “John Marking is exactly the kind of racer the other guys in Pro-Lite should be keeping an eye on. Marking has a meticulous, calculating approach to racing, a trait that has served him well in years of desert competition that culminated in winning a SCORE Class 1 championship in 2004.”

    In 2013 at the opening of the Fox Museum, John Marking introduced company founder Bob Fox by saying, “For the last twenty years I’ve been fortunate to have a front row seat, watching this company evolve and grow into what it is today. What started out as a small business working out of a borrowed garage has turned into what you see before you.”

    In 2021 Fox hit a major milestone, surpassing one billion in annual sales. CEO Mike Dennison said, “The ongoing growth story at Fox is a testament to the experience, resilience and dedication of our world-class team.

    John holds more than 40 patents in the US and Europe relating to shock technology and design and has been named to the San Diego Business Journal’s The San Diego 500, The Book of Influential Business Leaders in 2018. John Marking, his wife Gretchen and son Bryce are residents of eastern San Diego, enjoying off-roading, skiing, and watersports on the Colorado River. His passions include a love of flying helicopters, and he holds a commercial helicopter pilot’s license.

    After a long and courageous battle with cancer, John passed away on December 12, 2021, just weeks after being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

    Fox Shox Career Timeline/Successes

    • 1992 Began career at Fox Racing Shox through his work with bicycle shocks. Rose to role as vice president of Fox bicycle division.

    • 2001 Left Fox bicycle division to move to Fox off-road division.

    • 2008 Fox Shox sold to private equity firm.

    • 2009 Began Fox military component division (via British Supacat).

    • 2013 Fox Shox transitioned to public company.

    • 2015 Ended management of Fox off-road division to start commercial truck division.

    • 2019 Took over newly formed Fox motorsports division for off-road/powersports.

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