Sterling Marlin Cuts Tire, Finishes 33rd at Indianapolis SPEEDWAY, Indiana, (August 8, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin posted a 33rd-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a cut tire forced him behind the wall on lap 68. "We cut a...
Sterling Marlin Cuts Tire, Finishes 33rd at Indianapolis
SPEEDWAY, Indiana, (August 8, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin posted a 33rd-place finish at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after a cut tire forced him behind the wall on lap 68.
"We cut a left front tire down and I couldn't get slowed down to get to the pits," said Marlin. "We got her hot and melted her down. I saw some flames come up and I figured it was time to abandon ship."
The Coors Light Dodge qualified in the 10th spot for the Brickyard 400, but by the first caution on lap 4 had fallen to the 20th position. Marlin radioed that the car needed more grip so the crew put on fresh right side tires and made a rubber adjustment. The Silver Bullet restarted 34th on lap 8.
The yellow flag flew once again just 15 laps later and the Coors Light Dodge was fitted with right side tires again while a slight air pressure adjustment was made to help with the grip of the car.
With the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Michael Hagee and the guys from Rascal Flatts cheering him on from the pits, Marlin was able to work his way up to 23rd when racing resumed on lap 27.
The Coors Light Dodge continued fight to find grip around the track in the 26th position and had worked its way up three spots to 23rd before the tire went down on lap 67.
The Silver Bullet cut the left front tire on lap 67 and Marlin was unable to turn onto pit road in time, so he had to continue to ride around the 2.5 mile racetrack until he could reach pit road again. However, while attempting to make it back around, the sparks from the tire caught on fire and the left-front of the car went up in flames.
Marlin was able to get out of the car, and after a mandatory ride to the infield car center to be checked out he returned to the garage area where the Coors Light crew were feverously working to get the car back out on the track.
The Coors Light Dodge re-entered the Brickyard 400 on lap 90 in the 39th spot and was able to gain a few positions before parking the car and ending the day in the 33rd position.
Marlin's 33rd-place finish dropped him to 19th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points, 319 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished seventh and 26th respectively.
The Coors Light crew heads to Watkins Glen International next weekend for the Sirius at the Glen.