Atlanta: Sterling Marlin race report

BLOWN TIRE RELEGATES MARLIN TO A 34TH-PLACE FINISH ATLANTA (March 20, 2006)-- A blown left-front tire on Lap 188 of 325 marked the end of Sterling Marlin's chance for a good finish in Monday's rain-delayed Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor ...

BLOWN TIRE RELEGATES MARLIN TO A 34TH-PLACE FINISH

ATLANTA (March 20, 2006)-- A blown left-front tire on Lap 188 of 325 marked the end of Sterling Marlin's chance for a good finish in Monday's rain-delayed Golden Corral 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Marlin began complaining of a tight race car early in the 500-mile event but the Waste Management team, led by crew chief Doug Randolph, worked feverishly in the pits to find the right combination for the Chevrolet.

"I hate that we blew the tire," said Marlin, who was credited with a 34th-place finish. "Doug (Randolph) and everyone on the Waste Management team had done a great job chasing the race track and making good changes. We'd finally gotten our (No.) 14 Chevy where we wanted it and trying to work our way through the field when we had that tire problem on the backstretch."

Marlin's incident brought out the caution flag, but by the time he limped around the race track and into his pit stall, the team had lost a lap to the leaders. Repairs on pit road to the body damage of the Waste Management Chevrolet cost them a second lap.

"Once you're two laps down it's hard to do much," said Randolph. "If you're one lap down you still have a chance with the lucky dog rule in place. But any more laps than that and it just makes for a long day. It's disappointing. We had good lap times at the end of the race, we just couldn't do anything with them."

"Our next stop is Bristol," said Marlin, looking ahead to next week. "I like short-track racing and I'm confident this Waste Management team can run well there. We're a good race team and we've had some good runs-- now we just need some strong finishes to go with them."

Next week's Food City 500 will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 26 and will be televised live on FOX beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.

-mb2m

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin