Daytona Twin 125: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin finishes fourth in Gatorade 125 qualifying race. Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 13, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin drove his ...

Marlin finishes fourth in Gatorade 125 qualifying race.

Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 13, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin drove his #40 Coors Light Dodge to a fourth place finish in the first Gatorade 125 qualifying race at Daytona International Speedway. Marlin will start seventh in the Daytona 500 this Sunday.

The Coors Light Dodge started the first Gatorade 125 qualifying race in fifth position. Marlin drafted in a single file line with the leaders for the first half of the race. On lap 23, he jumped out of line to make a move to the front but he didn't have a strong line of cars behind him. With no drafting help in the outside line, Marlin fell back to 14th position by lap 30.

The Coors Light crew gave Marlin two right side tires and fuel on lap 32 during the only pit stop of the day. After going back out on the track, Marlin became a part of the second drafting pack and eventually caught the leaders. On lap 43 all cars were in single file. With three laps to go, the field jumped into two-wide racing. Marlin kept the inside lane and was able to move up to take the checkered flag in fourth position.

Although Marlin finished well, he was unhappy with the type of racing that went on.

"They need to put wickers on them or something so we can pass," Marlin said. "It's just follow the leader now. You can't pass. Guys would get on the outside and get shot to the back. I think we need to run a little faster and mix it up a little bit. The 500 is going to come down to who will follow who for 180 laps and then race the last 20. They need to do something to bust it up. We had a good car. I think our car was as good as the one that won the race, but we just never could get up there. Finally Dale Jarrett hung with us and got us back up to fourth."

Sterling Marlin and the Coors Light crew will start in seventh position for the Daytona 500 on Sunday, February 16. The race will be broadcast live on FOX television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Sterling Marlin