Michigan: Sterling Marlin race report

Sterling Marlin Scores Fourth Top-10 Finish at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 20, 2004) --- Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a sixth- place finish in the DHL 400, his fourth top-10 finish of the 2004 season. "We kept adjusting on...

Sterling Marlin Scores Fourth Top-10 Finish at Michigan

BROOKLYN, Mich., (June 20, 2004) --- Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a sixth- place finish in the DHL 400, his fourth top-10 finish of the 2004 season.

"We kept adjusting on the car until we finally got it where we needed it," Marlin said. "We had a real good car today and we kept adjusting on it. It started out too tight and then we finally got it where it needed to be. That last set of tires we adjusted the air pressure just a wee little bit. It started bottoming out a lot. We had 'em. They threw a caution. It was another one of those debris cautions. I never did see any debris, but that's it. That cost us the win up here last year. We pushed those last few laps, and I had to lift. It just got too tight."

After starting 24th, Marlin began to slowly work his way through the field of cars and was running 18th when the yellow flag flew on lap 34. Marlin radioed that the car was tight so the Coors Light crew fitted the car with four fresh tires, fuel and made a slight air pressure adjustment during the pit stop on lap 35.

When the race restarted on lap 39, Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge took off and rocketed into the top10 within six laps. Marlin continued to run in the top13 and when green-flag pit stops started on lap 79 he reported that the car was going in spells, it would get tight but then it would come back to him.

Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road on lap 80 and the crew made another four tire, fuel and air pressure adjustment stop. Marlin had climbed to eighth when the yellow came out on lap 89 and the Coors Light crew continued to make slight adjustments to the air pressure over the next 41 laps to get the handling of the car just right.

When the race restarted after the fourth caution on lap 120, Marlin was running in the fifth position. It took 10 laps but Marlin was able to run down Elliott Sadler, the race leader, and take over the top spot. Marlin continued running out front and when the caution came out on lap 151 he reported that the car was good in turns 3 and 4 but tight in turns 1 and 2. The Coors Light Dodge came down pit road for a quick four tire, fuel and air pressure adjustment and returned to the track in the lead.

Marlin continued to run first, leading second-place Dale Jarrett on lap 173 by 1.177 seconds. The seventh caution came out on lap 175 and Marlin gave up the lead to get four fresh tires and fuel. The Coors Light Dodge restarted 10th and had worked its way back up to fourth when the yellow flag waved again on lap 192.

Marlin took third on the restart but was unable to challenge for the lead as his car was too tight. Marlin was able to hold on and get his fourth top-10 finish and 12th top-10 finish in 38 races at Michigan International Speedway by taking the checkered-flag sixth.

Marlin's sixth place finish jumped him up to 18th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points, 260 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray finished 31st and 37th respectively.

The Coors Light team races at Infineon Raceway next weekend. The Dodge/Save Mart 350 will be broadcast live on Sunday June 27th.

-cgr-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Jarrett , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray , Elliott Sadler