Coming Off Season-High Finish, All-Star Event Couldn't Come at Better Time for Marlin CONCORD, N.C. (May 14, 2007)-- After leaving historical Darlington Raceway with a season-high 13th-place finish, veteran driver Sterling Marlin says the ...
Coming Off Season-High Finish, All-Star Event Couldn't Come at Better Time for Marlin
CONCORD, N.C. (May 14, 2007)-- After leaving historical Darlington Raceway with a season-high 13th-place finish, veteran driver Sterling Marlin says the All-Starweekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway couldn't come at a better time for his No. 14 Ginn Racing team.
"We had a good run last week in Darlington, so we've got our chins up," said Marlin, who won the Nextel All-Star Open in 2004. "It's a great time to be going into a weekend where we can take some chances and have some fun."
The Nextel All-Star Challenge is one of two non-points events that take place during the Nextel Cup season. The other is Daytona's Bud Shootout in February.
Last season, Marlin's No. 14 machine finished eighth in the 29-car Nextel Open field.
"The All-Star event is a ton of fun," explained Marlin. "We don't view this racelike any other since it's shorter and no points are on the line. We can afford to try things that we wouldn't normally chance."
Marlin was the only leader in the 2004 Nextel Open field to take two tires on a final pit stop, gaining him vital track position. With one lap go, and running third, a hard-charging Marlin was able to slip by the first and second place contenders, bringing home the victory and earning a spot in that year's All-Star Challenge.
"Everyone wants the final spot into the big show," explained Marlin. "We had a good run at Charlotte last year, so I don't see any reason it couldn't be us. Me, Slugger (Labbe, crew chief) and all the guys will put our heads together and see what kind of strategy we can come up with."
Along with the winner of the Open, ther0-car field for the All-Star Challenge will consist ofteams which havewon a race in the past year, past champions of the All-Star Challenge in the last 10 years, past NASCAR Cup champions in the lastq0 years, and a driver voted in by the fans.
"It should be a good weekend," said Marlin. "We'll have some fun on Saturday and hopefully learn some stuff for the Coca-Cola 600 next weekend. We're going to have some fun out there-- I'm looking forward to it."