Phoenix II: Sterling Marlin race report

Late Race Accident Forces Marlin to 36th-Place Finish PHOENIX (Nov. 12, 2006)-- For the third straight week, Sterling Marlin saw a good run take a bad turn when his No. 14 Principal Financial Group Chevrolet was collected by the No.

Late Race Accident Forces Marlin to 36th-Place Finish

PHOENIX (Nov. 12, 2006)-- For the third straight week, Sterling Marlin saw a good run take a bad turn when his No. 14 Principal Financial Group Chevrolet was collected by the No. 66 car of Jeff Green and relegated to a 36th-place finish in Sunday's Checker Auto Parts 500.

Marlin started the Nextel Cup event from the 30th position but had made steady progress through the field at Phoenix International Raceway before the incident occurred.

"I don't even know what happened," said Marlin. "Jeff (Green) got into the back of me and just turned me around. I don't know what he was thinking-- nothing led up to it, just all of a sudden I was in the wall."

Marlin's Principal Financial Group Chevy took a hard hit against the Turn 4 wall and he was forced to the garage area to replace a bent steering wheel.

"It was a hard lick," he said. "It knocked the breath out of me and bent the steering wheel, but we were able to get back on the track and pick up a couple of finishing spots."

In last week's Nextel Cup event at Texas Motor Speedway, Marlin was hit from behind when he checked up to avoid another accident. The week prior in Atlanta, Marlin was collected in a five-car wreck.

"It's frustrating how we keep getting taken out week after week," said Marlin. "We're just out there trying to make laps and get good finishes and we keep getting wrecked."

In the 10 races since crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe has joined the No. 14 team, Marlin has been involved in seven accidents on the racetrack.

"The most upsetting part is that our performances have improved drastically in the last few weeks," Marlin explained. "But we keep getting wrecked and collected in other team's messes."

"We've got one race to go and we're going to try our hardest to make the most of it," he continued. "I'd really like to finish the season on a high note and head in to the off season with some momentum."

The last race of the 2006 Nextel Cup schedule will be Sunday's (Nov. 19) Ford 400. The race will be broadcast live on NBC beginning at 2 p.m. ET.

-credit: mb2m

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Green , Sterling Marlin