Loudon II: Sterling Marlin race summary

Coors Light Team finishes 21st at New Hampshire; Marlin drops to second in Winston Cup championship points. LOUDON, N.H. (September 15, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 21st place finish in the New ...

Coors Light Team finishes 21st at New Hampshire; Marlin drops to second in Winston Cup championship points.

LOUDON, N.H. (September 15, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 21st place finish in the New Hampshire 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. For the first time in 25 races, Marlin lost his points lead to Mark Martin and is currently trailing him by six points in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings.

Marlin started the 300-lap event in 24th position. From the green flag the weather looked threatening and the first caution fell 20 laps into the race. When the race resumed almost two hours later Marlin restarted in 23rd position. Fighting a tight car throughout the day, Marlin and Jimmy Spencer ran 21st and 22nd respectively most of the day.

The second caution of the day fell at lap 75. Marlin left the pits with four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment in hopes of a better handling car; but the car continued to be tight.

"The car was real tight all day, I couldn't turn it," said Marlin following the race. "We're doing the best we can with the rules we've got. Everybody has had rule changes but us. We've been hollering for a full kickout and we haven't got it. That's all I know. They've done it for every body else but the Dodges."

At the half way mark, Marlin fought hard to work his way up to 19th position. The streak continued through lap 161 where the Coors Light team took a scheduled pit stop and took four tires, which looked to have cost them a lot of track position. Leaving the pits in 23rd spot Marlin had a mirror full of the leaders for the rest of the race.

Fighting hard to keep on the lead lap, Marlin watched as Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch fought for the win. When the caution flag fell for the final time at lap 200 Sterling managed to keep his lap and finish the race in 21st position. With the rain looking like it would not stop the race was stopped short at lap 207 with Ryan Newman the winner.

"We'll just do all we can do," continued Marlin. "I feel fine. It (his back) didn't bother me at all today. We just face a problem with the Dodges, tight, tight, tight, tight, tight. With the valence deal we've got now, we just can't get 'em turned. We'll go to Dover and do the best we can do. We're not going to quit yet."

Ryan Newman, driver of the No. 12 Alltel Ford, won the New Hampshire 300; his first Winston Cup win. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at the Dover International Speedway on September 22, 2002.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Mark Martin