Martinsville: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin scores another top-10 at Martinsville. MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 13, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin drove his Coors Light Dodge to a seventh place finish at Martinsville Speedway during the Virginia 500. In the past four races, Marlin has...

Marlin scores another top-10 at Martinsville.

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 13, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin drove his Coors Light Dodge to a seventh place finish at Martinsville Speedway during the Virginia 500. In the past four races, Marlin has scored three top-10 finishes.

Marlin finished in seventh place in the Virginia 500 at Martinsville Speedway and moved up four spots in NASCAR Championship points, putting him in 12th position. Marlin was the highest finishing Dodge of the race and leads Dodge in the points standings.

The Coors Light Dodge started the race in 25th position and Marlin consistently moved up through the field. During the 500-lap race, Marlin hit the top-20 on lap 84, the top-15 on lap 208, and the top-10 on lap 286. The Coors Light Dodge led the field following a caution on lap 299, gaining five championship bonus points in the process.

Marlin's Dodge did have a few problems during the race. He was loose off the corner at the beginning of the race, tight in the center of the corner a little later, and he lost all grip late in the race. But, the Coors Light crew kept Marlin out front with quick pit stops and adjustments. The Coors Light pit crew did not lose any spots in the pits. They kept Marlin in his current position or better when he exited pit road.

"We were a little bit off," Marlin said after the race. "It was typical Martinsville. We were slipping and sliding a little bit. We were a little loose at times, a little tight at times. I guess we had the best Dodge today, so we'll just keep trying to get better. We had a few donuts on the car today, but it was just typical Martinsville."

"That's what we needed, another top-10," crew chief Lee McCall said. "This was a good points day for us and the Coors Light crew did an excellent job in the pits. We seem to be back in a groove here and we're looking forward to California."

Ganassi teammates and rookies Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray finished 36th and 39th respectively. Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 DuPont Chevrolet, won the race; his first win of the season.

The Coors Light team will enjoy their first off-weekend of the season this week. After resting up for a week, the team heads to California Speedway for the Auto Club 500 that will be broadcast live on April 27 on FOX television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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