Talladega: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin scores top-10 at Talladega. TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 6, 2003) --- Finishing in sixth place, Sterling Marlin scored his fourth top-10 of the season in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. With the top-10 finish, Marlin moved up to ...

Marlin scores top-10 at Talladega.

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 6, 2003) --- Finishing in sixth place, Sterling Marlin scored his fourth top-10 of the season in the Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. With the top-10 finish, Marlin moved up to 16th place in Winston Cup championship points.

Marlin started the race in 12th place and stayed in the front of the pack, which enabled him to avoid "the big one" on lap 3. The accident was started by a flat tire on Ryan Newman's Dodge and included 27 other cars.

In typical Talladega fashion, Marlin moved up and down through the pack the entire race but stayed within the top-15. He took the lead on lap 31 and 32, which gave him five championship bonus points.

For the Coors Light crew, the close call of the day came after a pit stop on lap 64. Marlin went back out during the caution and his car just quit - the power was off and nothing worked. As the Coors Light team held their breath, Marlin hit the "kill switch" on the car and it started back up again. He had accidentally hit it and turned off the car.

Although Marlin raced in the top-15 all day during the Aaron's 499, only the last lap counts. With eight laps to go, Marlin shuffled from fourth to seventh to fifth, to eleventh and then up to sixth to take the checkered flag on lap 188.

"We were just out there trying to get what we could get," Marlin said after the race. "I think we're still off a little bit. I got the lead one time and they about ran over me going back by me."

Ganassi teammates and rookies Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears both got caught in the accident on lap 3. McMurray's team was able to repair his car and put him back on the track to finish 27th. Mears' Target Dodge was totaled and finished in 40th place. Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet, won the race - his fourth straight win at Talladega Superspeedway.

The Coors Light team heads to Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the Virginia 500. The race will be broadcast live on April 13 on FOX television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray