Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Tuesday, October 25, 2005 Martinsville Recap, Atlanta Advance STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) NOTE: Marlin, a 48-year-old driver from Columbia, Tenn., will make career start No. 671 on...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Martinsville Recap, Atlanta Advance
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Marlin, a 48-year-old driver from Columbia, Tenn., will make career start No. 671 on Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Marlin has 11 career poles and 10 victories. Marlin will make his 42nd career start at AMS on Sunday. He has two career-best finishes of second at the 1.54-mile track.
OPENING COMMENTS "We started off pretty tight at Martinsville. We got our car freed up and got our lap back. I don't know who hit who, but the zero came off the fence and didn't have anywhere to go. We hit him and got that fixed. We got back out and tore up a gear. We got that fixed and had a really good car. We were laps down but we could run with the leaders. Whatever we did when we wrecked made it drive better. I told the crew chief to find out what was bent and when we go back have it like it was.
"We didn't test at Atlanta. We lost the good car we had at Charlotte. We're going to try to fix it and take it to Texas. We're taking chassis No. 205. It's been a pretty good car for us. It's got a new body on it. The guys that tested said the track lacks a lot of grip and it's pretty loose. We'll find out when we get there."
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? "I'm probably going to run two more years and that's probably going to be it. I'm looking forward to next year. I'm going to go to a real competitive team and get going. I've talk to Jay (Frye) and them through the year, and I think they've got a good race team, good engines, good bodies and chassis. Me and Joe have worked together before, and I think we'll be a good team. A lot of people have said, 'please don't quit.' We're not planning on quitting. I think I'll run two more years unless I pull a Harry Gant and run until I'm 54, but I don't see that happening."
WHAT'S BEEN THE BIGGEST CHANGES IN YOUR CAREER? "It sneaks up on you. I used to go to Bristol with my day and there would only be 30,000 people. I think the TV package getting going with the first live Daytona 500 in 1979 I guess that got it out in the main stream. What TV has done and the media has done and the things NASCAR has done to make the sport safer. We tested the soft walls out at Charlotte. Thanks to NASCAR for getting that done. I wouldn't change nothing (about my career). They money is going to keep getting bigger and bigger, but money's not everything. I wouldn't take nothing for coming up like I did, having to work on my own cars and build the trailers and tow trucks and go to the racetrack. That's how my dad done it and Bobby and Donnie Allison and Pearson, that's how they all made it what it is."
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT YOUR CUP DEBUT? "I had to go rebuild a race car that my dad was running Talladega with. He was qualifying for the ARCA race and broke a spindle and hit the wall running about 200 and destroyed the car. The guy who sponsored the car was from Nashville, and Nashville was about two weeks later. We took the car home and rebuilt it and raced at Nashville with it."
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE REED SORENSON FOR SUNDAY? "I don't know. Reed is a good little driver. He's got a great future in the sport. Atlanta is his hometown, so just go for it all. I've seen these rookies come in and run really good, so I think Reed's got a great future ahead of him."
COMMENT ON THE CHASE "It looks like Stewart was pretty dominant Sunday. He didn't win the race, but his car was pretty dominant. He's won at Atlanta, and I think he probably finished behind us in the spring. Who knows? If I was going to bet on anybody I'd probably bet on Stewart."
DO YOU THINK THERE'S AS MUCH INTEREST IN THE CHASE THIS YEAR? "Maybe there's not quite as much interest in this year. Last year was the first year they did it. You've got some big names that didn't make the cut, so I don't know if that took a little out of it or what."
HOW CLOSE ARE YOU TO PLANS FOR NEXT SEASON? "We've got it nailed down. I've got a deal. We're waiting to get the sponsors nailed down. I think everybody knows I'm going to MB2 Motorsports. I'm looking forward to getting hooked up with those guys."
HOW CAN YOU WRECK AT MARTINSVILLE AND GET A BETTER SETUP? "I don't know. That's what I told my crew chief. I said, '(Steve) Boyer when ya'll get home Monday'..., they always post the car, but this was bent and that was bent and it picked up two tenths. They do all the stuff within a 32nd and the front within 10 thousandths and the car goes out and runs faster. I don't know. I don't understand it."
COMMENT ON ATLANTA "I've run second there a couple of times. We've had some good runs. I liked the old track better. This track here, the pavement is kind of like a Rockingham or Darlington used to be. The times give up and that's really what we need. It's not like Charlotte where it's like you're qualifying every lap. The speeds probably slow down two seconds from new tires to old tires. Whoever gets a good combination on the car and gets going with it (will do well). It's not that hard to pass. You can run the bottom, the middle or the top. It's not hard to pass at Atlanta like it is at some of these other places with a groove or a groove and a half."
ARE YOU GOING TO TRY ANY NEW STUFF IN THE LAST FOUR RACES? "It's going to be like it's been. We're out of tests, and we lost a good car at Charlotte. We're going to try to get it rebuilt for Texas. The car we're bringing has been a pretty decent car for us. We'll see how it shakes out. I think Jimmy Elledge stumbled on some stuff with Casey Mears. They built a car and went to Michigan and ran really good with it. It just takes a lot of time to get your cars switched over. We built one and carried it to Michigan and cut a right front testing and wiped it out. We had to borrow a car from Casey and should have had a top five car in all three races but we had trouble. We got a new one built, and that's the one we tore up at Charlotte. A lot of it is body. You just have to stay on top of it."
WHAT'S ON TAP FOR LATER TODAY? "I've got a bulldozer here waiting on me to get on it. I've got a lot I'm cleaning off and filling in. There's a bunch of old rock and pavement I'm pushing off to fill in. I'm going to sell it. I love being outside. I can't stand being inside."
TALK ABOUT YOUR SON STEADMAN'S RACING CAREER "He hasn't really had a good shot to get what he needs. He had a late model at Nashville and sometimes he'd make me so mad you'd want to kill him, but once he got going he could outrun me in it. I think he just needs an opportunity and somebody to give him a chance to run he's built. I don't know if he drives like me. Different people have different styles. He hasn't had as much seat time as I have, but he's pretty close (to my driving style) I guess."
TALK ABOUT THE SPEED AT ATLANTA "The tires will hold you for one or two laps qualifying at Atlanta. It's really a speed track kinda like Charlotte. The good thing about Atlanta is you'll slow down. We'll probably lose two seconds from lap 1 to 55 or 58 when you pit for fuel. The track is pretty abrasive. It eats the tires up pretty good. A good handling car can come up through the field. It's a wide track and you can pass anywhere you want to go."
HOW ABOUT THE G FORCES AT AMS? "It ain't that much. It doesn't bother you that bad. Bristol is probably the No. 1 track on G Forces."
DO YOU THINK TEXAS DESERVES A SECOND DATE? "Yeah, I do. They pack the track with a lot of people for the first race. It's a great facility and it pays good. I definitely think it deserves another race more than some of the tracks we've got up north. I ain't mentioning any names, but that's my feeling on it."
WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEAM TICK? "I think No.1 being an owner that knows what's going on and things you need and having good people on the team, a crew chief that understands the car and a driver and crew chief have got to yeehaw and it takes good equipment. It takes a lot to throw one together. It's just hard to get the chemistry right sometimes."
WHAT KIND OF EMOTIONS TO YOU FEEL LEAVING THE No. 40 TEAM? "I really haven't thought about it. I've left teams before. I've been with Felix a long time, I guess since 1997 or '98. He's become a great friend. He's a down to earth guy that would give you the shirt off his back. I don't know Chip as good as Felix, but I'm sure I'll see both of them around. I've got mixed emotions, but I'm sure I'll go see Felix on his boat when we get to Daytona in February. Me and Felix talk a couple of times a week. He said when I get out of racing he's getting out, so we'll see if that holds true."
DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT CLICKING WITH YOUR NEW TEAM? "No. I haven't worked with anybody, but they've got good people and they run really good. They've won races. They've got good equipment, great motors from Hendrick. I don't see any problem going in and fitting right in."