Coors Light Team finishes 21st at Dover; Marlin drops to fourth in Winston Cup championship points. DOVER, Del. (September 23, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 21st place finish in the MBNA ...
Coors Light Team finishes 21st at Dover; Marlin drops to fourth in Winston Cup championship points.
DOVER, Del. (September 23, 2002) - Sterling Marlin drove the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to a 21st place finish in the MBNA All-American Heroes 400 at Dover International Speedway. Marlin lost two more positions in the Winston Cup Championship points race and currently sits in fourth position behind Tony Stewart. Mark Martin leads the points with Jimmie Johnson in second. Marlin is 81 points behind the leader.
Marlin started the 400-lap race in 26th position. From the start Marlin had troubles with his Coors Light Dodge; he stated early on to crew chief Lee McCall that the car was tight. During the first caution period, the Coors Light pit crew began their first stop with a grocery list of items to change on the car - rubber in the right rear, rubber out of the left rear, trackbar up, air pressure adjustment, and wedge adjustment. This was the start of a lot of work and changes on the #40 car for the rest of the race.
The highest position Marlin reaches was 16th place on lap 61. The team fell as low as 35th position on lap 113. After a long struggle with the car on the track, Marlin took the checkered flag in a disappointing 21st place finish.
"We weren't real good all week," Marlin said following the race. "We were real tight on the start and then got loose and got lapped. We had about a 15th-place car. That's about all we had. We tried everything. The guys worked hard. That's all we could do. We had the wrong gear, the wrong springs, the wrong shocks, wrong car. We had the right beer, but other than that, we got stomped. I think Kansas coming up will be good for us. We tested at Kentucky last week for Kansas, and I think we had a real good test, so maybe we can get back on track."
Marlin was upset with the finishes of the Dodge teams lately. Last weekend in New Hampshire, Jimmy Spencer was the highest finishing Dodge and finished in 15th place. This weekend at Dover, Kyle Petty had the highest finishing Dodge in 16th place.
"If you run 'em on the chassis dynos, the Fords have got 50 more horsepower than we've got," Marlin explained. "Chevrolet is right there with 'em. They've got better aero. We're the only car from last year that's had stuff taken away. Everybody else has got stuff. I ain't crying, but facts are facts. I'm really not complaining. I'm just explaining."
Jimmie Johnson won his third career Winston Cup race Sunday winning the MBNA American Heroes 400 at Dover. Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway on September 29, 2002.