Fontana: Sterling Marlin race remarks

COors Original Dodge finishes seventh in California, Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race. FONTANA, Calif. (April 28, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Original Dodge Intrepid R/T to an seventh place finish in...

COors Original Dodge finishes seventh in California, Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race.

FONTANA, Calif. (April 28, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Original Dodge Intrepid R/T to an seventh place finish in the NAPA Auto Parts 500 at California Speedway. For the ninth straight race, Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings; he increased his lead over Kurt Busch to 143 points.

The Coors Original Dodge started the 250-lap event in 25th position, three spots behind teammate Jimmy Spencer. Marlin radioed in on lap 3 that the Coors Original Dodge was really tight and needed adjustments. Yet, he moved up to the top-15 by lap 8 and reached 11th on lap 17.

The first caution of the day came out on lap 19 and the Coors Original crew was able to bring the car in for a long four-tire stop with adjustments. When the green flag came back out on lap 23, Marlin restarted in 20th position but moved into the top-10 by lap 32. The car was better but still tight off of the corners. Marlin patiently moved from ninth on lap 37 to third on lap 62.

Marlin remained in the top-5 for the next 100 laps until the No. 2 of Rusty Wallace passed him for fourth place on the inside lane. As Wallace passed on the inside, Marlin's Coors Original Dodge scrapped the wall and had fender and aerodynamic damage. Due to the damage, Marlin fell back a few spots but remained in the top-10 for the remainder of the race and brought home his eighth top-10 finish in 10 races this season.

"The car was tight all day," Marlin said. "We adjusted on the car then it got fee in the middle and tight off. Toward the end when Rusty (Wallace) passed me, I got into the wall and it messed up the fenders and aerodynamics. We fell back a little bit, but we were still able to hang on for another top-10 finish and gain some more points on second place. If we can't win, we try to finish in the top-10 and that's what we did today."

Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway on May 4, 2002.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Jimmy Spencer , Sterling Marlin , Kurt Busch