Top-5 Finish For Sterling Marlin At Homestead-Miami HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 12, 2001) - The Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T driven by Sterling Marlin finished fifth in the Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Marlin moved up to fourth ...
Top-5 Finish For Sterling Marlin At Homestead-Miami
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (November 12, 2001) - The Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T driven by Sterling Marlin finished fifth in the Pennzoil 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Marlin moved up to fourth overall in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series championship points standings; he is 74 points out of third place.
The Coors Light Dodge began the event in fifth position and moved up to third place by lap 10. Marlin radioed in early stating that the car had started tight but had loosened up by lap 35. Marlin continued his drive to the front by taking over second place on lap 45. The Coors Light Dodge moved into first place on lap 52; Marlin took over the lead from eventual race winner, Bill Elliott.
Marlin lead laps 53-57 and 60-61 before coming in for a green flag pit stop. The Coors Light crew had a 15.26 seconds pit stop with four tires, fuel and adjustments on the car. Following a caution on lap 81, the Coors Light Dodge came in for only two tires while most of the field got four. Marlin restarted the event in first position and lead laps 85-95. Another caution on lap 110 brought Marlin in for four tires. He restarted in ninth and continued to stay in the top-10.
The Coors Light crew made adjustments to the car following a caution on lap 146. On the restart, Marlin started first but fell back to eighth by lap 164. A caution on lap 172 brought the Coors Light Dodge in for four tires. Marlin restarted in 17th position with most of the field in front of him receiving only two tires under the caution period. Marlin began his drive to the front on lap 181. Almost systematically, Marlin advanced to the front by passing one car at a time. By lap 201, he was in 10th position. On lap 216, he was in sixth.
A caution on lap 223 called for the No. 40 Dodge's last pit stop of the day. The team took on four tires and Marlin restarted in 10th position. He moved up and took the Pennzoil 400 checkered flag in fifth place.
Marlin was pleased with the finish but thought he had a chance for the win.
"We put on four tires at the end when a lot of guys put on two," Marlin said. "We might of won it if we put on two but we had a lot of laps on the lefts. We had a fast car at the end we just couldn't get where we needed to be."
Tony Glover, team manager, Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, thought the team made some big gains over the Homestead-Miami weekend.
"It's hard to get crazy over a fifth place finish but when we left here yesterday afternoon I think we had a 25th to 30th place car," said Glover. "The #01 car gave us some good tips to give to the #40 car. We kind of got mixed up on a two-tire stop and got out of sequence. The next time we had to get four tires and the other guys got two and it put us way back in the field but Sterling drove his butt off today and got us another top-5."
Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge team is the NAPA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 18.