Coors Light Team finishes sixth in Pepsi 400 at Michigan: Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead. BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 18, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a sixth place finish in the...
Coors Light Team finishes sixth in Pepsi 400 at Michigan: Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead.
BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 18, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a sixth place finish in the Pepsi 400 at Michigan International Speedway. For the 22nd straight race (Rockingham to Michigan), Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings. He currently leads Mark Martin by 43 points.
The No. 40 Coors Light Dodge started the 200-lap event in 26th position but Marlin quickly moved up to 15th position by lap 9 and raced his way into the top-10 within the first 20 laps. Marlin raced in the top-15 all day and was quiet on the radio, an indication that the car was running well. The Coors Light team did make tire pressure and wedge adjustments throughout the day but Marlin was pleased overall with his favorite car.
Pit strategy came into play during the last 30 laps of the race. During a caution on lap 162, Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge in for a four-tire pit stop. All of the leaders pitted during this time and many of them took only two tires. Marlin restarted the race on lap 164 in 19th position with four fresh tires. After the last caution flag of the day (lap 184), Marlin restarted in 13th place with 11 laps left in the race. He went on a tear through the field, almost passing a car on every lap. The Coors Light Dodge finished in sixth place; a gain of seven positions within the last 11 laps.
"On restarts on new tires I had to be real careful," Marlin said. "I needed about five laps (to get going), and it bottomed out on new tires, too. We were better on the long runs. It just won't go green when I need it to. Sixth place wasn't too bad, but we had a better car than that. We put on four tires on the last pit stop and the 88 and 6 got through traffic. I had to get out of the gas because someone in front of me almost wrecked and four or five cars got by me. You just never know. It worked out pretty good. The 6 wasn't that good all day. He was decent, but I never saw him all day until he stayed out."
Dale Jarrett, driver of the No. 88 UPS Ford, won the Pepsi 400. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 24, 2002.