MARLIN PERSEVERES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE; FINISHES 16TH LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2006) -- It was one of those roller-coaster days for Sterling Marlin, who brought home a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire ...
MARLIN PERSEVERES IN NEW HAMPSHIRE; FINISHES 16TH
LOUDON, N.H. (July 16, 2006) -- It was one of those roller-coaster days for Sterling Marlin, who brought home a 16th-place finish in Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway.
The Waste Management driver experienced a number of ups and downs during the 300-mile race, and in the end, felt the result was solid.
"We'll take a 16th-place finish," said Marlin, who started the event 23rd. "Obviously we would like to have finished better, but we had a good run and a solid result. The team kept working to improve the Waste Management Chevy, they made good changes, and we picked up some spots in points. I'd say all-in-all it wasn't a bad day."
Marlin struggled early in the NEXTEL Cup event, fighting an ultra-tight racecar and losing track position. Then, after a green-flag pit stop on Lap 186 of 300, a caution flag came out, putting Marlin, along with many other competitors, a lap down.
"When a round of green flag stops begins everyone has to hold their breath," said Marlin. "Usually things work out, but every once in a while you get caught a lap down and that's exactly what happened to us."
Marlin restarted the event deep in the field, but managed to get his lap back when the caution waved again on Lap 200. Just after moving back to the lead lap, another yellow flag flew (Lap 211), and crew chief Scott Eggleston made the call not to pit, moving Marlin into the Top 10.
"We picked up some track position there by not pitting, but another caution came out soon enough afterward that we ended up having to come in and pit anyway," explained Eggleston. "We lost the positions we had just gained, but in the end, didn't have to worry about fuel, which ended up being very important."
With one lap remaining in the 300-lap race, the final yellow flag of the afternoon came out. Seven caution laps were taken around the 1.058-mile track, sending the competition into overtime, and causing a few competitors to run out of fuel before the checkered flag.
"Judging on how tight the Waste Management Chevrolet was throughout the race, I think a 16th-place finish is decent," said Eggleston. "We'll take it. We moved up in points, ran a pretty solid race and took advantage of some other people's bad luck. With all of the up and downs today, I'd say we did alright."
Pocono Raceway (Long Pond, Pa.) is the next stop for the MB2 Motorsports race team. The NEXTEL Cup event will be Sunday, July 23.