Bristol II: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin Gets Sixth-Place Finish at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile" BRISTOL, Tenn., (August 28, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge spent the entire 500 lap race running in the top-10 to bring home a sixth-place finish in the ...

Marlin Gets Sixth-Place Finish at the "World's Fastest Half-Mile"

BRISTOL, Tenn., (August 28, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge spent the entire 500 lap race running in the top-10 to bring home a sixth-place finish in the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Marlin's sixth-place finish was his sixth top-10 finish of the 2004 season.

"We qualified good and raced good," Marlin said. "We had a good car, and the guys did a real good job on the car. We had a good weekend. That's two good runs this season at Bristol. Maybe they need to add a couple more races here for us. We're getting back on track. Nobody is giving up. We might not be able to make the top 10, but I hear finishing 11th is going to be worthwhile. So if we can't finish 10th, we'll shoot for 11th, learn all we can and get ready for next season. It was a long race, and it was pretty hot out there tonight. I'm ready to go to the house."

Marlin turned in his highest qualifying effort of the season on Friday when he piloted his Coors Light Dodge third for the race "under the lights" at Bristol Motor Speedway. Marlin quickly moved up one spot when he passed the No. 9 car of Kasey Kahne on lap 18. When the third caution of the day came out on lap 57 Marlin brought his car down pit road for a quick two-tire and fuel stop.

When racing resumed on lap 61, the Coors Light Dodge was in the seventh spot. In a move that gave the Coors Light team dejà vu of the spring race, Marlin maneuvered his way up to the third position, behind the cars of Rusty Wallace and Dale Jr, to relive the "Battle of the Beers."

Marlin continued to run in the third position for the next 58 laps before being passed by teammate Jamie McMurray on lap 133. Marlin reported on lap 190 that the Coors Light Dodge needed "grip all the way around." So on lap 225 the Silver Bullet returned to pit road for a green-flag pit stop where the Coors Light crew fitted the car with four fresh tires, fuel and made a slight air pressure adjustment.

On lap 365 Dale Jarrett went spinning while running in the second spot. Marlin, who was running sixth behind Jarrett, was sent spinning as well when the cars jammed up behind Jarrett's spin. Marlin was able to hold on and save the Coors Light Dodge and the sixth position with no damage.

The Coors Light Dodge came down pit road for the fifth time for four fresh tires and fuel and the crew checked out the car to make sure there was no damage. The Silver Bullet slipped one spot in the pits and restarted seventh on lap 372.

The Coors Light crew made one more two-tire pit stop on lap 390 and was able to gain a spot for the restart on lap 399. Marlin spent the final 101 laps running in the sixth position and was able to bring home his sixth top-10 finish of the season.

Marlin's sixth-place finish elevated him to 19th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points, 372 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates McMurray and Casey Mears finished seventh and 30th respectively.

The Coors Light team returns to California Speedway for the Pop Secret 500 next weekend. The race will be broadcast live on NBC and MRN radio on Sunday September 5th.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Rusty Wallace , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray , Kasey Kahne