Loudon II: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin Scores Top-15 Finish in New Hampshire LOUDON, N.H., (September 19, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 12th-place finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Marlin's 12th place finish...

Marlin Scores Top-15 Finish in New Hampshire

LOUDON, N.H., (September 19, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 12th-place finish in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Marlin's 12th place finish is his highest finish at New Hampshire since 2002.

The field was set by current car owner points after qualifying was canceled on Friday, so the Coors Light Dodge took the green flag in the 19th position. When the first caution came out on lap 16, Marlin had moved his way up five spots to the 14th position. Marlin radioed that the "chassis was good in three and overall alright."

Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road on lap 19 for fuel only and was able to gain a spot and restart 13th on lap 21. NASCAR threw the yellow flag on lap 35 for a pre-announced caution and crew chief Lee McCall decided to keep the Coors Light Dodge on the track. This allowed Marlin to gain valuable track position as he restarted third on lap 40.

The Silver Bullet continued to run in the top-10 for the next 25 laps until the third caution of the day came out on lap 63. Marlin told McCall that the car "needed more grip all around" so Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road for an air pressure adjustment, four tires and a full tank of fuel.

After restarting 13th on lap 70, Marlin radioed that the "chassis was sometimes tight but was good on the long runs." Marlin brought the No.40 Dodge back down pit road for the third time on lap 104. The Coors Light crew made a quick two tire and fuel stop and was able to gain five positions and break into the top-10 for the second time of the 300 lap race.

Marlin continued to run in the top-14 for the remainder of the race eventually taking the checkered flag in the 12th spot. This is the second consecutive top-15 finish for Marlin, and 12th for the 2004 season, after he finished 14th last week at Richmond.

"The car wasn't bad after the first 30 laps," Marlin said. "The Coors Light crew made some much needed adjustments and we were able to be competitive. The car was really good on the long run. We were terrible on new tires. Once we got 30 laps on 'em we were pretty good. I think we were as good as anybody."

Marlin's 12th-place finish elevated him one spot to 18th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished fifth and 29th respectively.

The Coors Light crew heads back to Dover International Speedway next weekend for the second race of the "Chase for the Championship."

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