Texas: Sterling Marlin race report

Mechanical Issue Relegates Marlin to 34th-Place Finish FORT WORTH, Texas (April 15, 2007)-- A problem with the driveshaft on the No. 14 Panasonic Chevrolet relegated Sterling Marlin to a 34th-place finish in Sunday's Samsung 500 here at Texas ...

Mechanical Issue Relegates Marlin to 34th-Place Finish

FORT WORTH, Texas (April 15, 2007)-- A problem with the driveshaft on the No. 14 Panasonic Chevrolet relegated Sterling Marlin to a 34th-place finish in Sunday's Samsung 500 here at Texas Motor Speedway.

Marlin started the Nextel Cup event from the 28th position after the 43-car field was set by owner points due to severe weather that canceled Friday's qualifying session.

But on Lap 164 of 334, Marlin felt a violent vibration under the Panasonic Chevy and had to bring the machine to the garage area for a diagnosis.

"I thought we blew up at first," said Marlin. "But I didn't see any smoke and everything looked normal, so I just pulled down on the apron and took it to the garage."

The Ginn Racing team went to work under the blue and white machine, repaired the driveshaft, and sent the veteran driver back to the 1.5-mile quad-oval 29 laps later.

"We had some pretty quick speeds during the race, but when you're that many laps down there isn't much you can do," Marlin continued. "When something like that happens, it makes for a long day. But we'll put it behind us and move on to the next race."

"I hate that we couldn't have had a better finish on a weekend that's been so heavy on our hearts," said crew chief Slugger Labbe. "We really wanted to have a good race to honor Budman (Scott Kircher), but we know he was with us. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family."

Kircher, a member of the Ginn Racing team, passed away Saturday (April 14) at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte from injuries suffered in a motorcycle accident Friday in Mooresville, N.C.

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR-CUP