DESPITE PRESSURE, MARLIN CONFIDENT HEADING TO MARTINSVILLE MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 28, 2006)-- Sterling Marlin is feeling a little bit of pressure heading to Martinsville Speedway for this weekend's DIRECTV 500. But despite the anxiety,...
DESPITE PRESSURE, MARLIN CONFIDENT HEADING TO MARTINSVILLE
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 28, 2006)-- Sterling Marlin is feeling a little bit of pressure heading to Martinsville Speedway for this weekend's DIRECTV 500. But despite the anxiety, Marlin is confident that his Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet will be up front at the end of Sunday's race.
After the first-five races of the Nextel Cup Series season, Marlin is 36th inthe owner point standings, 30 points outside the top 35. Based on NASCAR's rule book, teams inside the top 35 in owner points each week are guaranteed a starting spot in that weekend's event. Those who aren't must qualify on time for the remainingspots.
"We're just barely on the outside looking in," said Marlin, who will be piloting the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet in the first of a three-race sponsorship package. "It's a little bit of pressure, but I'm certain our Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevy will be top-notch. Not only am I confident we'll make this weekend's race, I'm optimistic we can bring home a great finish."
Marlin, who has 39 starts at the half-mile flat track, has turned in 14 top-10 finishes there, includingseven in his last 10 starts.
"Obviously we'd like to be guaranteed a starting spot," said Marlin. "But if we're going to have some extra pressure, Martinsville isn't a bad place for it.I like short-track racing and tend to run pretty good there. Also, Doug (Randolph, crew chief) and his team sat on the pole at Martinsville last spring, so I'm hoping we can find the right combination to not only start up front Sunday, but also finish there."
The No. 14 MB2 Motorsports team has had a rough start to the 2006 season. An accident (Daytona), blown engine (Las Vegas) and a flat tire (Atlanta) have been the culprits. But the veteran Marlin isn't down, he is hopingthe team's 17th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday helped set themin the right direction.
"A 17th-place finish isn't what we're looking for and we're capable of much more," said Marlin. "But we were able to keep our nose clean all day, stay out of trouble and come home with a top-20 result. If we can do that every week we'll be making progress. It's not where we want to be, but it's a start."