Marlin Gets 11th Top-15 Finish of the Season at Richmond International Raceway
RICHMOND, Va., (September 13, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin was able to overcome two wrecks and going a lap down to finish 14th in the Rock and Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
"The car was tight all night long," Marlin said. "We were able to make some adjustments and run in the top-10 for awhile but the car tightened up. We were able to get the Coors Light Dodge into the top-15 though despite getting caught in a few of those wrecks and I am happy with that."
After starting the race in the 24th position, the Coors Light Dodge was able to begin to work its way up through the field and had made up four spots when the first caution came out on lap eight. When the third yellow flag waved on lap 52 Marlin reported that the car was starting to get tight on exit. The Coors Light crew fitted the car with four tires, fuel and made a trackbar and air pressure adjustment.
The Coors Light crew continued to make adjustments, but Marlin was unable to fight off the leader Kurt Busch on lap 128 and he went a lap down. However, when the fifth caution came out 30 laps later the Coors Light Dodge was the first car a lap down and was the receipient of the "lucky dog" rule.
Marlin restarted on lap 164 in the 25th spot, at the tail end of the lead lap. Seven laps later though Marlin was hit by the No. 9 car. The Coors Light Dodge sustained no damage and Marlin was able to restart 18th on lap 175.
However, Marlin was not out of the woods yet, as he was also caught up in the big wreck just four laps later that involved nine other cars. Marlin was able to restart 21st on lap 192.
Green-flag pit stops began on lap 265 when the eventual race winner, Jeremy Mayfield drove onto pit road. Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge were able to stay out and advance to the 15th spot.
The Coors Light crew took advantage of the caution on lap 292 to bring Marlin down pit road for four tires and fuel. The crew was able to gain a spot in the pits and Marlin restarted 14th on lap 299. Just six laps later the Coors Light Dodge was running in the top-10.
Marlin was able to stay in the top-10 for 22 laps before slipping a few laps and taking the checkered flag in the 14th spot.
Marlin's 14th-place finish elevated him two spots to 19th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished ninth and 35th respectively.
The Coors Light team returns to New Hampshire for the first race of the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup." The Sylvania 300 will be broadcast live on TNT and MRN radio on Sunday.