TWO-TIME DAYTONA 500 WINNER AND TEAM CHEVY DRIVER, STERLING MARLIN GAVE MEDIA HIS VIEWS OF NASCAR FROM HIS VETERAN PERSPECTIVE STERLING MARLIN, NO. 14 WASTE MANAGEMENT MONTE CARLO SS: Q. How did you feel about the introduction of the...
TWO-TIME DAYTONA 500 WINNER AND TEAM CHEVY DRIVER, STERLING MARLIN GAVE MEDIA HIS VIEWS OF NASCAR FROM HIS VETERAN PERSPECTIVE
STERLING MARLIN, NO. 14 WASTE MANAGEMENT MONTE CARLO SS:
Q. How did you feel about the introduction of the restrictor plates?
Marlin: Well, it wasn't bad before. The racing wasn't bad. at least you could get away from guys. Now everybody's on top of each other and the car kind of gets up. To me it was better racing back then.
Q. The Budweiser Shootout has five or six or seven guys in their 20s. Is that a big deal for you?
Marlin: No. I've been in it three times and Earnhardt was in it. It gets you an idea of where everyone will be for the 500.
Q. Does it surprise you that there are that many young guys in the 500?
Marlin: Not really. I mean, Ricky Rudd was in his 20s when he first started. I guess it's just a sign of the times.
Q. Has your determination level waned over the years?
Marlin: No, you get down and disgusted sometimes when you can't get your car as good as you need it to be. It doesn't drive as good or get the bodies like you need them. I think we'll really turn some stuff open with Bobby Ginn coming in and buying it. I think that will help.
Q. There are more cars attempting to make the field for every race this year. How much pressure is there for you?
Marlin: There will be some pressure on us. We tested good here, I thought, and if everything goes good we should get in. We've got a real good speedway program. We're pretty satisfied with the test we had in Vegas, I think 16th out of 102 cars because everybody brought two cars. Just got to get your stuff a little better. You can't make a mistake qualifying. You got to have an absolute perfect lap. These cars are so sensitive now with the springs and stuff if you get something wrong it could mean two or three tenths. So we got to have all this stuff right and we'll be ready to go.
Q. Would you be surprised if a Toyota won the 500?
Marlin: Yeah, I probably would be. The way the templates are on the car now are a lot different from back 10 years ago where we had to take a model and try to make it run. It would come out of Detroit. Now all the noses are the same. Grille openings are a little different; the corner window is a little different. Same bodies, chassis are pretty much the same. It's whatever motor Toyota brings; we don't know how much steam they've got in it.
Q. Would you care if they won?
Marlin: I don't' know. They make a lot of them over here now but they're still a foreign company and you never would have thought 15, 10 or even five years ago that they'd be in this sport. It's just more competition. I just hope they don't. from what I hear they go in and try to hire all the best guys and good teams and give them $20,000-$30,000 more to build their team. That's wrong. If they're doing that I don't know.
Q. With all the changes coming this year, what will be the biggest challenge for everybody?
Marlin: I think the biggest challenge will be getting the Car of Tomorrow worked out because it's pretty new, complex car and there's a lot to do on them. Everybody's pretty much with wheel bump stops, soft springs up front to try to get them to drive right. I think the guys that have been testing them since last October or November will have the advantage. The one I drove so far didn't drive good.
-credit: gm racing