KANSAS, Mo. (September 30, 2001)– The Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T driven by Sterling Marlin finished fifth in the inaugural Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway. This marks the eighth time this season that Marlin has finished in the top-5. With his fifth place finish, Marlin is fourth overall in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship points standings; he is 54 points out of fourth place.
Coors Brewing Company continued its effort to help the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on America by extending its $10 donation for every lap that the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge R/T completed in the Protection One 400 in Kansas. Following Marlin’s completion of all 267 laps, Coors Brewing Company will make a donation of $2,670 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. In addition to the donation, Coors has developed a special "American Pride" paint scheme for its No. 40 Dodge for the inaugural Kansas event.
The Coors Light team started the event in 19th position. On the first lap, Marlin fell back to 24th position while avoiding a caution. By lap 50, he was already up to ninth place when he brought the No. 40 car into the pits for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to loosen the car up.
Marlin battled his way up to fifth position by lap 100 and stayed in the top-10 for the next 100 laps. A late race caution brought out the red flag and stopped the field while debris was being removed from the track. Marlin now had a six-lap shootout to improve on his current sixth place position. On the restart, he dove inside and went three-wide to pick up one position putting the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge in fifth place. At the checkered flag, Marlin battled three-wide with Rusty Wallace and Ricky Rudd but was unable to gain a position. The No. 40 Coors Light team finished the inaugural Protection One 400 in fifth position.
Marlin enjoyed racing at Kansas Speedway and was pleased with another top-5 finish.
“ I love the track,” Marlin said. “ It’s going to take a couple of races to get the outside groove. It’s just like Atlanta. It was just a one-groove deal when it first started.”
“ On the long run, we could run quicker than the leaders. We got another top-5 with (car number) 115. It won at Michigan in August, finished second at Indy and third at Michigan in June. It finished fifth today, and we’re taking it to Charlotte next week.”
Tony Glover, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates team manager, was disappointed with the last two pit stops but was pleased with the team’s overall effort.
“ We had a bad pit stop under yellow,” Glover said. “ We took four tires and had problems with the left rear and that cost us. We made that back up and got into contention again. Then we came in for a gas and go on our last pit stop and had some miscommunication with the team and ended up coming out of the pits in third position. I think that if we had come out in first after the last pit stop then the race would have been over with.”
“ On the last restart Sterling was really good. He drove his heart out and I’m sorry that we let him down a little bit but you’ll have days like that. With a 36-week race schedule every now and then you will have a few miscues. Today we had a few and hopefully that will be enough to do us for the rest of the year.”
Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Sunday, Oct. 7.