Talladega: Sterling Marlin race report

EARLY ACCIDENT SPOILS DAY FOR MARLIN TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 1, 2006)-- It was a late-race accident that took Sterling Marlin out of contention for a win at the season-opening Daytona 500, the first of the season's four ...

EARLY ACCIDENT SPOILS DAY FOR MARLIN

TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 1, 2006)-- It was a late-race accident that took Sterling Marlin out of contention for a win at the season-opening Daytona 500, the first of the season's four restrictor-plate races.

In Monday's rain-delayed event at Talladega Superspeedway -- the second restrictor-plate race of the year -- Marlin's No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet got collected again. This time around it was early in the race when he was part of a 13-car pileup on Lap 9 of 188.

"It's disappointing that something like that happened so early in such a long race," said Marlin, who was credited with a 37th-place finish. "There were guys up there racing like it was the last lap-- making it five wide-- it's ridiculous. We were on lap nine-- there's just no call for that."

Marlin, who has five career-superspeedway wins (two at Talladega, three at Daytona) was hoping to collect a deserving finish in Monday's rain-delayed Aaron's 499. But as the 43-car field entered Turn 3 at the 2.66-mile speedway, two cars in a five-wide pack made contact, starting a chain reaction of spinning race cars that blocked the track.

"They were five wide in front of me," explained Sterling, who qualified ninth. "There's absolutely no reason to be five wide, especially that early in the race. All these young guys are out there trying to make something happen. We had another 170 laps to do that. They just weren't using their heads.

"Someone made contact with someone else and from there it was over. We didn't have any where to go. I thought I may have cleared everyone but I got clipped at the last second and that was that."

Marlin eventually returned to action with a crippled racecar and completed a total 91 laps.

"Our Waste Management Chevrolets have been rocket ships at both superspeedway races this year and each time we've ended up in someone else's mess," said Marlin. "It's unfortunate, but we can't linger. We had a good finish last week and we expect to have another one in Richmond."

That Richmond event will take place Saturday night and will be broadcast live on FX starting at 7 p.m. ET.

-mb2m-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin