Martinsville Dodge Sunday notes

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Marlin scored his first top-five finish at Martinsville since a runner-up performance in the spring of '92. He moved up to a tie for third in the series standings with Johnny ...

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: Marlin scored his first top-five finish at Martinsville since a runner-up performance in the spring of '92. He moved up to a tie for third in the series standings with Johnny Benson, 187 points behind the leader. Marlin led 20 laps Sunday and is one of only two drivers who has led a lap in each race this season. He's the only driver who has been ranked in the top 10 in the standings all season.

"We just ran out of tires. We gambled. The guys made all the right calls in the pits. We knew we had a pretty good car, and if we could just get track position we'd be OK. I guess we ran in the top three most of the day. We just couldn't afford to pit on that last caution. There were too many cars out there on the lead lap, and it was just too hard to pass. All the boys did a hell of a job.

"It got hot inside that car. I about burned up. I don't know if something happened to it to let all that heat in or not. My butt's hot. My feet are hot. Everything is hot. We ran out of water. We had a water jug and for some reason it just barely worked. I didn't have any water for the first 200 laps. Once we got pitted and got some water, I was fine. A good, cold Coors Light will take care of everything.

"We've been on track. We just got taken out last week and lost an engine in Atlanta. If not for that, we'd be right there in the thick of it.

"I drove in too deep once, and the 88 got a piece of me. It was my fault."

BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: This was Jones' first NASCAR Winston Cup start at Martinsville.

"Our car wasn't too good. We were riding along in the back, and I really don't know what happened. Everybody bunched up and I guess somebody got somebody else sideways. I got into the back of somebody and knocked the radiator and oil cooler out. I was right in the back of it. We got it fixed and got back out to get as many points as we could. It was pretty tough to pass unless you just went ahead and bumped the person in front of you and got them out of the way. It's so hard to pass. I like the tracks with two grooves where it's easier to pass people. It was just typical short track racing here at Martinsville."

KYLE PETTY (No. 45 Sprint Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"I'm OK. The engine blew up. That's about all there is to say about it. I don't want to say anything wrong, so I won't say anything else."

BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"We had a pretty good day. We came in for two tires on that last caution, and lost some track position, but it probably wouldn't have mattered if we had stayed out or not. Those guys who came in and got four tires came back up through there pretty good. It was really hot out there today. I don't think anyone expected it to be that bad. We had a good car, and I was hoping for a better finish, but I'm going to cool off and take next week off and get ready for Talladega."

CASEY ATWOOD (No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)

NOTE: Atwood finished 26th Sunday. He finished 25th last fall in his first Winston Cup race at Martinsville.

"We didn't get a break today. Everybody checked up off turn two. I got into the guy behind me and Jarrett got into me and I got spun out. It was just hard luck. We had a good car. If we could have been up front all day we could have made better pit calls and had better tires on the car all day. We had a top-10 car pretty easy, I believe. It didn't work out. Maybe we'll do better next time. It was a little hotter here this year, but I was OK as long as I kept getting water on every pit stop. I got picked on a little bit. I got bumped a little bit, but I bumped a little back. I'm getting better. I'm satisfied with the way the car ran. I'm not satisfied with where we ended up. Some stuff happened we couldn't do anything about. We'll just have to do better next time."

WARD BURTON (No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"It's just a combination between the car, motor and tires. We just haven't been able to figure it out really. I'm driving my guts out, but that's not good enough. I got a little hot today. The cooling system went out. I didn't drink enough water before the race. I kept drinking about a quart every stop. I don't know how much that was, but it all went out of me.

"I'm fortunate that a lot of people are pulling for us. Caterpillar is a great sponsor. I've got a great team. We're just trying to figure out the new car and the new tire. Last year, we started a new Winston Cup team, and this year we've just got a lot of new variables to add to it. I know I've still got a good race team, and I know I can still drive a race car. We just aren't getting it done right now. I would sure as hell hope we get it all worked out. I don't know if I could go all season like this. I don't know if anybody else could either.It was pretty warm today. I was glad to see a caution a couple of times so I could get some water."

COMMENT ON FORDS FINISHING 1-2-3

"If there were three Dodges or three Chevrolets up there, who would be crying? That's all I'll say."

STACY COMPTON (No. 92 Kodiak Dodge Intrepid R/T)

"It was a little tight out there today. We didn't run a cool box, and the car wasn't working exactly like we needed it to. It was pretty warm out there today. We hung on to the lead lap and came away with another top 15. These guys worked really hard and made adjustments in the pits all day. We stayed out of trouble and kept our nose clean. It was a good run for us. We kept digging and we could dig our way past three or four cars. We'd see the leader coming, and we ran as hard as we could. We'd get by a few more cars and then the caution would come out. The Good Lord was looking after us. These guys worked hard, we hustled all day and came away with a good top 15."

-Dodge Motorsports

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Johnny Benson