Talladega II: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin Victim of Multicar Accident at Talladega TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 8, 2006)-- Sterling Marlin fell victim to a multicar accident in Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, resulting in a 40th-place finish and an early exit from the...

Marlin Victim of Multicar Accident at Talladega

TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 8, 2006)-- Sterling Marlin fell victim to a multicar accident in Sunday's UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, resulting in a 40th-place finish and an early exit from the NEXTEL Cup event.

What looked to be an unusually calm race at Talladega quickly took a turn for the worse when contact between several cars toward the front of the field turned into a 13-car pileup in Turn 1 of the 2.66-mile oval.

Marlin, who started the 188-lap, 500-mile event from the seventh position, was having a solid run in Sunday's race, maintaining his spot in the lead draft all afternoon and looking for a strong finish to add to his top-10 starting spot. But on Lap 138 of 188, things changed.

"I've looked at a replay several times and I'm just not sure what happened," explained Marlin. "It looked like the No. 2 (Kurt Busch) and No. 5 (Kyle Busch) got together and everything got a little hairy behind them. Then Carl (Edwards) took a sharp left into (Casey) Mears for some reason and it was on from there."

Prior to the incident only two caution periods had taken place and both were for debris on the racetrack.

"I guess things were just a little too calm for Talladega," said Marlin. "We'd gone through several green-flag pit cycles and everyone was staying out of trouble-- something was bound to happen. Unfortunately we got caught in the middle of it."

"We got into the 07 (Clint Bowyer) in the wreck, but I thought it may not be that bad and maybe we'd get out of there without much damage," Marlin continued. "But then the 16 (Greg Biffle) car shot back down the track and we made contact with the No. 26 (Jamie McMurray) before we finally came to a stop."

Marlin was unable to drive the crippled Waste Management Chevrolet back to the garage area and was seen and released in the infield care center while his MB2 Motorsports car was delivered to his team by a tow truck.

After the team replaced the nose and radiator on the No. 14 machine, Marlin returned to the speedway but was unable to maintain minimum speed and had to retire from the race.

"It's unfortunate but it's speedway racing," said crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe. "We have to do it four times a year and I'm pretty happy this was the last one of the season. We'll regroup and head home to Charlotte for next week."

The NEXTEL Cup Series will visit Lowe's Motor Speedway for Saturday night's Bank of America 500. The event will be televised on NBC beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

-credit: mb2 motorsports

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Greg Biffle , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch , Jamie McMurray , Clint Bowyer , Kyle Busch