Sterling Marlin Posts 21st-Place Finish at Magic Mile LOUDON, N.H., (July 25, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge to a 21st-place finish in the Siemens 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Marlin battled the...
Sterling Marlin Posts 21st-Place Finish at Magic Mile
LOUDON, N.H., (July 25, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge to a 21st-place finish in the Siemens 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway. Marlin battled the handling of the car and worked his way through the field from his 37th-place qualifying spot.
The Coors Light Dodge took the green flag in the 35th position after Dale Earnhardt Jr. dropped to the back of the field on the start. By lap 3, Marlin was radioing the crew that the car was real tight. Marlin was able to drive the Coors Light Dodge up seven spots by the time the first caution came out on lap 60.
Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, trackbar and left-side wedge adjustments. The Coors Light crew was able to gain seven spots in the pits and restart on lap 66 in the 21st position.
Marlin continued to work his way up through the field and had gained two spots when he reported on lap 84 that the car was still way too tight. When the yellow flag waved again on lap 90 for debris, Marlin radioed crew chief Lee McCall that the car was "really tight from center out."
The Coors Light crew took the spring rubber out of the left rear and made another air pressure and wedge adjustment, as well as putting on four fresh tires and fuel. Marlin continued to run 23rd after restarting on lap 100 for the next 41 laps until the caution came out again on lap 141.
The Coors Light crew continued to make adjustments on the chassis to try and free it up during the third pit stop on lap 142. After another wedge and air pressure adjustment , Marlin stalled out trying to get around Brendan Gaughn when exiting the pits. The Coors Light Dodge lost four spots and restarted 27th on lap 145.
Marlin was able to work his way up to 23rd by lap 156 and continued to run in the top 25 for the next 56 laps until the seventh caution of the day on lap 211.
The Coors Light Dodge was able to break into the top 20 with pit strategy on lap 212. McCall made the decision to only take on right-side tires and fuel and the Coors Light Dodge returned to the race in the 18th spot.
Marlin was able to race his way up to 17th but the handling of the car continued to be a factor and Marlin took the checkered flag in the 21st spot.
"The car was tight all day long," Marlin said. "The crew continued to make adjustments all day but we just could not get the handling of the car to where it needed to be. It was a long day but we moved up in the points so I am happy with that. We will continue to work hard this week to get ready for Pocono."
Marlin's 21st-place finish elevated him one spot to 18th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points, 307 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished seventh and 26th respectively.
The Coors Light crew heads to Pocono Raceway next weekend for the Pennsylvania 500.