Martinsville II: Sterling Marlin race report

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 19, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin's 600th career start in the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway did not end the way that he hoped that it would. Trouble with the radiator on lap 127 sent Marlin home early with a 43rd...

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 19, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin's 600th career start in the Subway 500 at Martinsville Speedway did not end the way that he hoped that it would. Trouble with the radiator on lap 127 sent Marlin home early with a 43rd place finish.

Marlin started the race ninth and was reporting early on that the car was tight. After a caution on lap 54, Marlin restarted fourth and was running in that spot for four laps when the car was spun out by Ward Burton. Fortunately, the Coors Light Dodge escaped any additional damage from the other 38 cars in the field. Through a series of quick pit stops the Coors Light Dodge was able to continue the race and using put strategy during a caution on lap 105 was able to jump from 30th to fourth.

It was only a matter of laps before Marlin reported the water temperatures rising and when he brought the car into the pit area, the team decided to take the car back to the garage and replace the radiator. The car was unable to return to the race and Marlin finished 43rd for the day.

"We had a good car," Marlin said. "We had worked our way up to fourth. Ward got us in three and four and turned us around in front of everybody. Johnny Benson came off turn two and had to check up. It wasn't his fault. We got a hole in the radiator. It just hasn't been a good day."

Marlin maintained his 19th position in the Winston Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished 8th and 17th respectively.

The Coors Light team races at Atlanta Motor Speedway next weekend. The race will be broadcast live on NBC television and PRN radio on Sunday, October 26th at 12:00 pm EST.

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Series NASCAR-CUP