Darlington II: Sterling Marlin race summary

Coors Light Team scores top-5 in Darlington; Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead. DARLINGTON, S.C. (September 1, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a fourth place finish in the Mountain...

Coors Light Team scores top-5 in Darlington; Marlin remains in Winston Cup championship points lead.

DARLINGTON, S.C. (September 1, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a fourth place finish in the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. For the 24th straight race (Rockingham to Darlington), Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings. He is 91 points ahead of Jeff Gordon who is currently in second place.

Qualifying for the Mountain Dew Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway was cancelled Friday afternoon due to rain. The field was set according to owner points, therefore Marlin started the race in the pole position.

After a two-hour rain delay, the green and yellow flags waved for the start of the race under caution. The field ran approximately 20-recorded laps before taking the green flag. Marlin fell to second place on the first lap. Although he remained in the top-5, Marlin did not regain the lead again until lap 161. Marlin lead for a total of 113 laps and never fell out of the top-5 during the entire race. The Coors Light Dodge took the checkered flag in fourth place, Marlin's eighth top-5 of the season.

"It got real loose on the last two sets of tires," Marlin said. "We were really loose on the start and got adjusted. I thought we were going to be in good shape. We were just really loose on the last two stops and we couldn't do anything with it. We had some good pit stops and came out leading two or three times. All the guys on the Coors Light Dodge team did a good job.

"It looks like Jeff (Gordon) is getting on a roll here.  We had him beat
early, but we just didn't finish.  You've got to run good all day to win
this thing.  We were gaining back on him, but we just ran out of time."

Jeff Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, won the Mountain Dew Southern 500 his second straight victory in a row. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the Chevy Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2002.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Sterling Marlin