Martinsville: Sterling Marlin race report

Despite Spin, Marlin Finishes 21st in Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 1, 2007)-- Sterling Marlin knows his No. 14 Panasonic Chevrolet Impala SS was stronger than the 21st-place finish it produced in Sunday's Nextel Cup event at...

Despite Spin, Marlin Finishes 21st in Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 1, 2007)-- Sterling Marlin knows his No. 14 Panasonic Chevrolet Impala SS was stronger than the 21st-place finish it produced in Sunday's Nextel Cup event at Martinsville Speedway. But an early setback during the Goody's Cool Orange 500 trapped the veteran driver a lap down and the team was never able to recover.

As Marlin lapped the .526-mile flat track on Lap 107 of 500, the No. 10 machine of Scott Riggs hit him from behind, sending the Panasonic Chevy down the racetrack. Because NASCAR opted not to throw the yellow flag, Marlin was forced to quickly correct his car and continue around the oval before being lapped by the leaders.

"If the (No.) 10 (Riggs) car hadn't gotten us we would've had a much better day," said Marlin, who started the event 37th. "The Panasonic Chevy was strong and we were moving to the front. But the caution not coming out and having a long green-flag period hurt us."

Despite the spin, Marlin was able to hold off the leaders for 33 laps before he was passed on Lap 140. Due to several long green-flag runs and double-file restarts, Marlin was unable to get his lap back until becoming the beneficiary on Lap 482.

"We had a good race car so it's disappointing that we weren't able to bring home a better finish," said crew chief Slugger Labbe. "We were running with a lot of the guys early in the race that ended up with strong finishes so I think we could've turned in a top-10 result if we had gotten the chance."

"But when you restart at Martinsville with 18 laps to go, it's hard to pick up many spots," Labbe added. "The (No.) 10 car cost us a lot today. This isn't the finish we wanted or deserved. But we just have to keep going -- we'll get it next time. "

The NEXTEL Cup Series will enjoy Easter weekend off before heading west to Texas Motor Speedway for the April 15 Samsung 500.

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Scott Riggs