Atlanta II: Sterling Marlin race report

The Coors Light Dodge Gets a Treat with 19th-Place Finish at Atlanta HAMPTON, Ga. (October 31, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin spent the afternoon of Halloween fighting the handling of the Coors Light Dodge and eventually taking the checkered flag in...

The Coors Light Dodge Gets a Treat with 19th-Place Finish at Atlanta

HAMPTON, Ga. (October 31, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin spent the afternoon of Halloween fighting the handling of the Coors Light Dodge and eventually taking the checkered flag in the 19th position in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

"We tried a little bit of everything," Marlin said. "The car was just really loose the first two runs and after that we were battling back from going a lap down. The Coors Light crew made a lot of changes today and after where we started, a 19th-place finish doesn't seem all that bad. We'll continue to go after it next week in Phoenix."

Marlin started the race 41st after a tough qualifying run on Friday forced the Coors Light Dodge to take the first provisional of the season. Marlin got a quick jump when the green-flag dropped and by the time the cars came back around was 36th. The Coors Light Dodge continued to work its way through the field and was running 24th when the first caution came out on lap 53.

Marlin radioed the crew that the car was extremely loose so the Coors Light crew made several chassis adjustments including adjusting the trackbar, air pressure and wedge as well as putting on four fresh tires and adding fuel. Marlin was able to hold his spot and restart on lap 62 in the 24th position.

The handling of the Coors Light Dodge continued to be a problem during the next 56 laps until the second pit stop on lap 118. The Coors Light crew made a quick green-flag stop making a wedge and air pressure adjustment, putting a rubber in the left rear and changing four tires and adding fuel.

When the second yellow flag waved on lap 137, Marlin was sitting 23rd, one lap down to the leaders. Marlin reported that the car had gotten better after the last pit stop but was still loose. During the pit stop on lap 140, the crew put on four fresh tires, added fuel and made another air pressure and wedge adjustment.

When racing resumed on lap 143, Marlin restarted 22nd. Marlin continued to battle for the remainder of the race and was able to finish 19th in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500.

Marlin dropped one spot to 20th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points after his 19th-place finish in Atlanta. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished eighth and 13th respectively.

The Coors Light team races at Phoenix next weekend. The race will be broadcast live on NBC television and MRN radio on Sunday, November 7th at 1:00 p.m. EST.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray