Daytona 500: Sterling Marlin race report

The Coors Light Dodge Gets Caught in "The Big One" at Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 15, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin started the season off with a bang when his Coors Light Dodge got caught up in "The Big One" during the running of...

The Coors Light Dodge Gets Caught in "The Big One" at Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 15, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin started the season off with a bang when his Coors Light Dodge got caught up in "The Big One" during the running of the 46th Daytona 500.

"Everybody ran into each other on the straightaway again," Marlin said. "The Coors Light Dodge was running tight all day. They were running three wide and someone got turned around and took out half the field. We had a great car all week here and we were excited about the race today. It was a tough race but we have the rest of the season to look forward to."

Marlin qualified for the race in the fourth position and when the first caution came out on lap seven the Coors Light Dodge stayed on the racetrack in the seventh position. Marlin continued to run up in the front until lap 20 when he was shuffled back in the draft to the 19th spot.

During the first pit stop under green on lap 31 the Coors Light crew put four fresh tires on and added fuel and made minor trackbar and chassis adjustments to free up the car. Marlin pulled back onto the track but unfortunately the yellow caution flag flew and Marlin was caught a lap down. However, thanks to the "lucky dog" rule from last season Marlin was given his lap back.

Marlin continued to dig through the field despite the car being tight when another caution occurred on lap 60 involving Rusty Wallace and Jeff Green. The Coors Light Dodge sustained right front damage and Marlin brought the car onto pit road for minor repairs. When the race restarted on lap 64, Marlin was running in the 22nd spot.

"The Big One" happened seven laps later on lap 71 when a car got loose in turn two. When the dust settled there were 12 cars in all that were involved and the Coors Light Dodge was one of them. The car was towed back to the garage and the Coors Light crew worked feverously to return the car to the track to make up some positions.

The car did return on lap 129 and was able to run around the track for a few laps before returning to the garage and parking for the day.

Marlin starts the season 37th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray finished 14th and 36th respectively.

The Coors Light team races at Rockingham next weekend. The race will be broadcast live on FOX television and MRN radio on Sunday, February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. EST.

-cgr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray