Darlington: Sterling Marlin preview

Marlin Looking to Add to Darlington History DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2007)--Sterling Marlin has a storied history at historical Darlington Raceway, including his last Nextel Cup win, which came on March 17, 2002. Of his 43 starts at the...

Marlin Looking to Add to Darlington History

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2007)--Sterling Marlin has a storied history at historical Darlington Raceway, including his last Nextel Cup win, which came on March 17, 2002.

Of his 43 starts at the daunting egg-shaped track, Marlin has collected two wins (spring races in 1995 & 2002), 10 top fives, 16 top 10s, and two pole positions.

"Darlington has been a special track for me from the beginning," offered Marlin, who is in his 31st year of Cup racing (first start May 8, 1976). "I've been racing there for close to thirty years and loved every trip. I've had good finishes and bad finishes, but they were all memorable.

"There aren't many tracks left that have been around since the beginning, and these days a lot of the tracks are the same. Darlington is different -- that's what makes it unique."

Marlin's first start at the 1.366-mile oval, known as the track "Too Tough To Tame," came in 1980, where he drove from a 33rd-place starting spot to an 11th-place finish.

"From the beginning, if I could stay out of trouble, I could usually bring home a decent finish at Darlington," Marlin continued. "That didn't work out for us last year so we're hoping for better fortune this time around."

Marlin is referring to the fact that, despite a 27th-place qualifying effort, the No. 14 Ginn Racing team was forced to start last year's Darlington event at the rear of the field after it experienced an engine failure during the first lap of Happy Hour.

"That wasn't a great day for us," recalled Marlin. "We struggled from the beginning and could never really get going. We started behind the eight ball and never got around it."

This year, Marlin looks to add a new statistic to his Darling Raceway history with a top-10 finish in his Ginn Racing Chevrolet.

"It's one of my favorite tracks and I'd love to get another top 10 or better finish there," said Marlin. b^0x001cStart up front and stay up front--that's the game plan."

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin