Daytona II: Sterling Marlin race report

MARLIN SALVAGES 24TH-PLACE FINISH IN DAYTONA DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2006)-- Despite a pit road miscue and a tight-handling race car, Sterling Marlin was able to salvage a 24th-place finish in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 here at Daytona...

MARLIN SALVAGES 24TH-PLACE FINISH IN DAYTONA

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2006)-- Despite a pit road miscue and a tight-handling race car, Sterling Marlin was able to salvage a 24th-place finish in Saturday night's Pepsi 400 here at Daytona International Speedway.

The veteran driver started the 160-lap, 400-mile NEXTEL Cup event 20th but felt his Ginn Clubs & Resorts machine had a solid finish in its future. However a pit road slip-up during a green-flag stop ultimately resulted in Marlin losing a lap and fighting an uphill battle the rest of the evening.

"The Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet was tight all night," said Marlin. "We made some good adjustments on the car and started to get a handle on things but then we made a mistake on pit road and got a lap down. After that, it was a struggle."

When Marlin brought the No. 14 Chevy down pit road for the green-flag pit stop on Lap 50, he pulled too close to the pit wall, forcing the team to change only two tires. In doing so, Marlin spent less time in the pit than planned and the car didn't get a full-tank of fuel.

"I messed up on that green-flag stop," said Marlin. "Scott (Eggleston, crew chief) made a call to change four tires, but when I came in so close to the wall he knew we wouldn't be able to get to the left side, so we just changed the rights. We didn't have time to get it full of gas and it ended up costing us."

The Ginn Clubs & Resorts team scheduled the next green-flag pit stop for Marlin at Lap 80, but as he rounded the 2.5-mile superspeedway on Lap 77 his fuel gauge showed empty and he had to coast his way around the track and to the pits.

"We had to do a little guessing on our fuel window and it didn't work out for us," said Eggleston. "We did manage to get our lap back, but the car was still tight and we could never make a charge toward the front. But Sterling hung in there and drove hard."

"We aren't happy with this result, especially at Daytona, but we'll take it and move on," said Marlin. "The guys worked hard all night and we ended up with an okay finish. This is a very capable team and I see good things in our future. We just have to keep our chins up and stay focused on what's ahead."

-mb2m

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About this article
Series NASCAR SPRINT CUP
Drivers Sterling Marlin