Charlotte: Sterlin Marlin race report

Coors Light Dodge finishes 11th in Coca-Cola 600. Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race. CONCORD, N.C. (May 26, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to an 11th place finish in the Coca-Cola...

Coors Light Dodge finishes 11th in Coca-Cola 600.
Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race.

CONCORD, N.C. (May 26, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to an 11th place finish in the Coca-Cola Family 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. For the eleventh straight race, Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings; he has an 87 point lead over Matt Kenseth who is currently in second place.

The Coors Light Dodge started the event in 35th position but moved up 10 positions before the first caution came out on lap 10 of the 400-lap event. Although Marlin said his car felt loose and tight around the 1.5-mile track, the Coors Light team opted not to make any adjustments during the first pit stop.

Fifteen laps later the second caution came out with the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge in 25th position. The team tightened Marlin's car up with two rounds of wedge during a 14.585-seconds pit stop. Following the adjustments, Marlin crept up the field to 10th place by lap 76 and 8th place by lap 88.

The Coors Light team continued to have quick pit stops and Marlin continued to race in the top-10 for the remainder of the event. Marlin's trouble-free and consistent evening gave him an 11th place finish and kept him first in the Winston Cup championship points lead. Second-place championship contender, Matt Kenseth, finished second in the Coca-Cola 600 and closed the gap on Marlin to 87 points between first and second.

"It was loose-tight, loose-tight, loose-tight and it didn't drive like we needed it to," Marlin said of his car following the race." We'd be tight one time and try to free it up and we'd get sideways. We'd tighten it back up and we'd be too tight. They changed the tire, and there wasn't anything wrong with the tire we had here I didn't think. That's cool that Mark Martin won. I guess the old men still know how to do it."

Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the MBNA Platinum 400 at Dover International Speedway on June 2, 2002.

-cgr-

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Series NASCAR Cup