Marlin Scores Second Victory of the Season for Dodge, Records Sixth Straight Top 10 Finish, Pads Points Lead LAS VEGAS (March 3, 2002) -- Sterling Marlin rolled the dice and cracked the ice Sunday in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston...
Marlin Scores Second Victory of the Season for Dodge, Records Sixth Straight Top 10 Finish, Pads Points Lead
LAS VEGAS (March 3, 2002) -- Sterling Marlin rolled the dice and cracked the ice Sunday in the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 NASCAR Winston Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Marlin and his Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Dodge Intrepid R/T team decided to make wholesale changes to the car Sunday morning. The gamble paid off, and Marlin rolled to a 1.163-second victory over fellow Dodge driver Jeremy Mayfield. In the Pennzoil World of Outlaw Series on Friday night at Las Vegas Speedway, Mark Kinser's Mopar-powered Maxim led from flag-to-flag and captured the 25-lap Preliminary Feature in the Silver State Shootout.
NASCAR WINSTON CUP SERIES
Dating back to the last three races of 2001 and the first three races in 2002, UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 winner Sterling Marlin has recorded six straight top 10 finishes. He has five top fives in those six events, three runner-up finishes and a victory.
Marlin leads the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup standings by 75 points over Ryan Newman. Marlin's win, Dodge's second victory of the season, gave Dodge a 24-21 advantage over Ford in the season-long manufacturers standings.
"All these guys did a great job today," Marlin said. "Everything worked good for us today. We changed the car Sunday morning. We weren't real good in Saturday's Happy Hour practice. We probably had a 10th-place car, so we decided to go for the win.
"We changed it up and hit right on it. We changed some springs and shocks and the car was flawless just about all day. Daytona was a heart breaker, but the guys kept working real hard and we bounced back. When I saw that last caution I said, 'oh no, not again.' but it worked out great this time."
Other Dodge Intrepid R/T finishers were:
Bill Elliott, No. 9 Dodge Dealers Intrepid R/T, eighth
Jimmy Spencer, No. 41 Target Dodge Intrepid R/T, 10th
Ward Burton, No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T, 21st
Buckshot Jones, No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T, 23rd
Hut Stricklin, No. 23 Hills Bros Coffee Dodge Intrepid R/T, 24th
Kyle Petty, No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T, 30th
John Andretti, No. 43 Cheerios Dodge Intrepid R/T, 36th
Casey Atwood, No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T, 41st
Shawna Robinson, No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge Intrepid R/T, 42nd
Bob Wildberger, Senior Manager, NASCAR Operations -- Dodge Motorsports, couldn't keep from smiling after Dodge captured its second victory in three races this season.
"Sometimes you have to make your own luck," Wildberger said. "Sterling could have won all three races this year, but he kept knocking on the door and he got through it today. That last caution made me as nervous as a kitten. We figured out about mid-last year and we started getting better on restarts but you just don't know what's going to happen coming off a caution.
"It's a tribute to all the teams working together to be leading the manufacturers standings. It says we've been very blessed with having some very great racers. That's chemistry and depth of the program. When someone is having a bad day, someone else is up front.
"I sure hope we give away that million dollar bonus. That would be the best investment we've ever made. I understand Sterling is thinking about what color (Viper) he wants. I think Ward has picked black. Sterling hasn't told me yet. I think he'd be smart if he let his wife Paula pick out the color."
PENNZOIL WORLD OF OUTLAWS
Mark Kinser, a two-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion, led from flag to flag Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and captured the 25-lap Preliminary Feature in the Silver State Shootout.
Behind the wheel of the No. 5M Mopar Maxim, Kinser was the fastest qualifier in the 37-car field, .017 seconds ahead of Sammy Swindell. Kinser was never seriously challenged in the feature and rolled to a 1.9-second victory. He also won the first O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash. Kinser finished third in his first heat race.
"I'm a notoriously slow starter," Kinser said. "I think we went a month last year before I won my first race. It's nice to get a win this early and get my confidence and help the crew keep theirs up."
Steve Kinser won the Saturday night A-feature at LVMS, and Mark Kinser finished third.