Coors Light team finishes seventh at Bristol; Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead. BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a seventh place finish in the Sharpie 500...
Coors Light team finishes seventh at Bristol; Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead.
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 24, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a seventh place finish in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. For the 23rd straight race (Rockingham to Bristol), Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings. He is 95 points ahead of Mark Martin who is currently in second place.
Marlin started the 500-lap event in 27th position but fell back to the end of the lead lap (37th position) after the jack hung on the car following a pit stop on lap 60. Marlin restarted in 37th position and began the long climb to the top-10. By lap 144, Marlin was in the top-20; on lap 264, he entered the top-10.
Marlin remained in the top-10 until the team decided to make a pit stop gamble on lap 347. By pitting during this time, without the leaders, Marlin could make it to the end of the race without pitting again. The Coors Light team lost track position by pitting without the leaders but they regained it when the leaders pitted 20 laps later.
Marlin kept his Coors Light Dodge in the top-10 for the remainder of the race and passed teammate Jimmy Spencer with 20 to go to finish seventh. Teammate Spencer finished in eighth giving Chip Ganassi Racing two top-10 finishes and bringing home the top two finishes for Dodge.
"The guys did a good job tonight," Marlin said after the race. "We changed 20 things on the car before the race. We were terrible yesterday. I'd like to thank my teammate Jimmy Spencer. We put his setup in it and it worked real good. I caught him and he didn't race us. He let us go. We were really good on long runs. I wanted to see it go green all the way. We would have been in good shape.
"I guess the 6 and 20 and Jimmie Johnson had trouble. We'll keep hammering and doing what we need to do. I can't thank the Target team enough. All I've heard every week is how I'm losing points. We gained 'em back tonight."
Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, won the Sharpie 500. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 1, 2002.