Charlotte II: Sterling Marlin race report

Sterling Marlin Motors the Prilosec OTC Dodge to 12th-place Finish at Lowe's CONCORD, N.C., (October 18, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin came from the back of the field and made it through two accidents to finish 12th in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at...

Sterling Marlin Motors the Prilosec OTC Dodge to 12th-place Finish at Lowe's

CONCORD, N.C., (October 18, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin came from the back of the field and made it through two accidents to finish 12th in the UAW-GM Quality 500 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Marlin's 12th-place finish was his 14th top-15 finish of the 2004 season.

"We had a lot of close calls tonight and managed to slip through them," Marlin said. "We managed to stay on the lead lap and got a decent finish out of it. We had some trouble with grip after the right side got messed up but the guys kept working hard and we were able to get another top-15 finish. I think the car was a lot better than a 12th-place car, but we'll take it and get ready for next week at Martinsville."

After starting the UAW-GM Quality 500 in the 31st position, Marlin sustained minimal damage when a multi-car accident brought out the first yellow of the night during the first lap. Marlin brought the Prilosec OTC Dodge down pit road for four tires, fuel and repairs to the right-front side.

The No. 40 Dodge restarted 34th, on lap 20 he radioed the crew that the car was "pretty tight off." Marlin continued to gain positions and was back up to 31st when the race was red flagged on lap 28. The No. 25 hit the wall and NASCAR and track officials had to repair the damage before restarting the race approximately 10 minutes later.

Marlin brought the Prilosec OTC Dodge down pit road for four fresh Goodyear tires, fuel and a slight air pressure and trackbar adjustment. The Prilosec OTC pit crew was able to gain four spots in the pits and Marlin restarted 27th on lap 31.

Marlin had worked his way up to 18th when the yellow flag waved again on lap 76. Marlin reported that the car needed more grip, so the crew made another slight air pressure adjustment and put on four tires and added fuel. The Prilosec OTC Dodge restarted 14th, gaining four more spots in the pits.

On lap 167, the halfway point of the race, Marlin was 13th and reporting that the car was loose. Despite the handling of the car, Marlin was able to work his way up to 11th just five laps later when the sixth caution came out on lap 172. The Prilosec OTC Dodge came down pit road for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustment before returning to the track ninth for the restart on lap 177.

The Prilosec OTC Dodge continued to run in the top 15 and was in the 13th spot when the No. 84 lost control in front of Marlin and hit the No. 40 causing it to spin around. However, Marlin was able to regain control and the Prilosec OTC Dodge again only sustained minimal damage. Interim crew chief Tony Glover made the call to stay out and lead lap 270 before bringing the No. 40 down pit road for a four tire, fuel and repairing the damage pit stop.

Marlin continued to battle in the top 15 before taking the checkered flag in the 12th spot. Marlin's 12th-place finish elevated him one spot to 21st in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished eighth and 20th respectively.

The Coors Light crew goes to Martinsville Speedway for the Subway 500 next weekend. The race will be broadcast on NBC television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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