Dover II: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin Takes the Checkered in 15th at Dover International Speedway DOVER, Del., (September 26, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 15h-place finish in the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. The 15th-place...

Marlin Takes the Checkered in 15th at Dover International Speedway

DOVER, Del., (September 26, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 15h-place finish in the MBNA America 400 at Dover International Speedway. The 15th-place finish was Marlin's 13th top-15 finish of the season.

"I don't know what we adjusted one time, but it was terrible," Marlin said. "We drove to 12th. All we did was change tires and a little bit of air pressure and went from top 12 to a 30th-place car. It was terrible."

After qualifying 34th, Marlin was able to gain eight spots within the first 11 laps of the race. Marlin continued to gain spots as he radioed to the Coors Light crew that he was a little bit tight. Marlin was running 19th when the second caution of the day came out on lap 47.

Marlin headed for pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment to free the Coors Light Dodge up. Marlin exited the pits 16th, but on the restart he passed two cars on the outside and was credited with 14th on the restart.

The Coors Light Dodge was able to run as high as 13th before Marlin reported that the car was getting tight again and needed to be freed up. The yellow flag came out on lap 119 when the No.17 car crashed at the entrance to pit road. However, due to the extensive damage the race was red-flagged on lap 122 while NASCAR and track officials worked for 15 minutes to repair the track.

When the race was restarted, Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure and wedge adjustment. Marlin restarted on lap 127 in the 12th position.

Marlin continued to fight the handling of the car and was running 16th when the race reached the halfway point on lap 200. Marlin made a green-flag pit stop on lap 249 for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. The Coors Light Dodge returned to the track 22nd, three laps down to the race leader.

As the race reached the final 100 laps, Marlin continued to fight for track position and he was able to work his way up seven spots to 15th. Marlin ran 15th for the final 25 laps of the race and was able to get his third consecutive top-15 finish, and 13th for the 2004 season.

Marlin's 15th-place finish kept him 18th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished eighth and 24th respectively.

The Coors Light crew heads back to Talladega Superspeedway next weekend for the EA Sports 500. The race will be broadcast on NBC television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray