Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge Earn Top-15 Finish at Darlington Raceway DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 21, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin adjusted to Darlington's narrowed racing surface and drove his Coors Light Dodge to a 14th place finish. When...
Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge Earn Top-15 Finish at Darlington Raceway
DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 21, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin adjusted to Darlington's narrowed racing surface and drove his Coors Light Dodge to a 14th place finish.
When the green flag waved to start the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400, Marlin began to slowly work his way from the 17th starting position and was running 15th on lap nine when the first caution came out. After bringing the Coors Light Dodge down pit road for a routine pit stop with minor adjustments, Marlin returned to the track in the 20th spot for the restart on lap 14.
Marlin quickly started working his way through the field and was running 14th within 10 laps. When the second caution of the day took place on lap 27, Marlin commented that the car was starting to get tight. No adjustments were made and the Coors Light Dodge returned to the field in the 13th spot.
The car continued to get tight as the laps went by and Marlin was reporting that the car was experiencing trouble turning into one and three. The Coors Light crew made their third pit stop on lap 55 during the caution and made a slight chassis adjustment to help free the car up.
The Coors Light Dodge was 12th when the race resumed on lap 59 and continued running in the top-15 until lap 121 when Marlin made a green flag pit stop. Marlin was reporting that the car was now loose so the Coors Light crew made more adjustments and sent Marlin back onto the racetrack.
Marlin continued to run in the top-20 and when the yellow flag came out on lap 185 for debris, Crew Chief Lee McCall decided to have Marlin stay out and lead lap 188. Marlin then brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road and the crew was able to take the time to make lengthy trackbar adjustments to help improve the handling of the car.
Marlin restarted 15th and was able to continue to run in the top-20 eventually piloting it to a 14th place finish.
"We started the race tight and then got loose," Marlin said. "We kept trying to make adjustments to the car to improve the handling but we just could not get it quite right. We go to my home track next week and we always run well there so I am looking forward to going racing at Bristol."
Marlin's 14th-place finish elevated him to 16th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points just 74 points back from tenth place. Ganassi teammates Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray finished 15th and 21st respectively.
The Coors Light team races at Bristol next weekend. The Food City 500 will be broadcast live on FOX television and PRN radio on Sunday, March 28th at 1:00 p.m. EST.