Atlanta: Sterling Marlin preview

Marlin Looking to Snap Eight-Race Jinx HAMPTON, Ga. (March 13, 2007)--Since an 11th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway last year (Oct. 15, 2006), Sterling Marlin's Ginn Racing team has found itself running from bad fortune. The No. 14 ...

Marlin Looking to Snap Eight-Race Jinx

HAMPTON, Ga. (March 13, 2007)--Since an 11th-place finish at Lowe's Motor Speedway last year (Oct. 15, 2006), Sterling Marlin's Ginn Racing team has found itself running from bad fortune. The No. 14 Panasonic team is hoping to break the jinx this weekend when they head to Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday's Nextel Cup event.

"You can't always blame things on bad luck, but we've had our share of it since the end of last year," said Marlin, whose best result in 44 starts at the 1.54-mile Atlanta oval is runner-up, which he accomplished twicem- at the fall races in 1995 and 2001.

Below is an outline of the eight straight races that Marlin'steam has encountered misfortune.

Martinsville Speedway (10/22/06)-- After qualifying 22nd for the Nextel Cup event and ranking first and fourth respectively in the previous day's practice sessions, Marlin was forced to settle for a 21st-place result.

As Marlin rounded the track under a caution period with fewer than 20 laps remaining, NASCAR informed the team there was something hanging from the back of the racecar and ordered Marlin to come down pit road and have the piece removed. When Marlin arrived in the No. 14 pit stall, nothing was found on the rear bumper.

Atlanta Motor Speedway (10/2006)--With only 16 laps remaining in the Nextel Cup event, Marlin was collected in a five-car accident, causing damage to the No. 14 Chevrolet and sending the team to a 20th-place finish.

Marlin started the 325-lap, 500-mile event 35th, but had climbed into the top 15 when the Lap 309 accident occurred.

Texas Motor Speedway (Nov. 5, 2006)--When the No. 21 car (Ken Schrader) cut a tire on Lap 174, Marlin was hit from behind by Mark Martin when he slammedthe brakes to avoid Schrader. The contact forced Marlin to the garage where the team went to work on the extensive damage to both the front and rear of the machine. He was credited with a 40th-place finish.

Phoenix International Raceway (11/12/06)--Marlin was hit from behind by Jeff Green as they entered Turn 4 on the one-mile track.

"I don't even know what happened," said Marlin, who finished 40th. "Jeff got into the back of me and just turned me around. I don't know what he was thinking-- nothing led up to it, just all of a sudden I was in the wall."

Homestead-Miami Speedway (11/1906)-- Despite starting from the top 20 and piloting a strong Chevy throughout the Nextel Cup season finale, bad luck continued to haunt the No. 14 race team as a faulty engine relegated the them to a 37th-place finish.

Daytona International Speedway (02/18/07)-- Marlin narrowly escaped several multi-car accidents in the Daytona 500 and was headed for a top-10 finish before being collected in a last-lap incident and wrecking across the finish line in 17th place.

California Speedway (02/25/07)-- It wasn't the finish the team was looking for in its first race with the Panasonic Chevrolet. But when they cut a left-rear tire on Lap 54 of 250 and made hard contact with the outside wall, any chance for a strong finish vanished. Marlinfinished 35th.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway (03/11/07)-- Marlin started the event from the eighth spot and maintained his top-10 position for the majority of the race. He was in the 11th spot and closing back in on 10th when he reported to his team that he didn't have power. What looked like a strong finish for the veteran driver quickly turned to a disappointing 34th-place result when the engine in the No. 14 Chevrolet expired on Lap 251 of 267.

-credit: gr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Ken Schrader , Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin , Mark Martin