Phoenix: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin Places 25th at Phoenix International Raceway GOODYEAR, Ariz., (November 7, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 25th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in the Checker Auto Parts 500. "We had ...

Marlin Places 25th at Phoenix International Raceway

GOODYEAR, Ariz., (November 7, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin piloted his Coors Light Dodge to a 25th-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway in the Checker Auto Parts 500.

"We had trouble finding the right balance on the car all weekend," Marlin said. "I started out tight and then we were loose. The Coors Light crew worked hard and made several adjustments to try and help the car. I am looking forward to going to Darlington next weekend, it is one of my favorite tracks and we always run well there."

Marlin qualified for the Checker Auto Parts 500 in the 35th spot, but a blown motor in happy hour on Saturday forced the Coors Light crew to change motors and start from the 42nd position. The Coors Light Dodge quickly began to work its way through the field and was running 31st when the first caution came out on lap 31. Marlin reported that the car was tight and needed more grip.

The Coors Light crew made a four tire, fuel, air pressure and trackbar adjustment pit stop on lap 78. The Coors Light crew gained two spots in the pits and when racing resumed on lap 80 Marlin was running 29th.

During the second caution on lap 105, Marlin reported that the car was tight in the center. Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road on lap 108, the Coors Light crew made a wedge and air pressure adjustment as well as fitting the car with four fresh tires and adding fuel.

Marlin was sitting 32nd when the red-flag came out on lap 111 for rain. After a 22 minute delay, the cars began to roll and racing resumed on lap 115. The fifth yellow flag of the race came out on lap 128 and Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road for an air pressure and trackbar adjustment, four tires and fuel. The Coors Light Dodge restarted on lap 133 in the 33rd spot.

Marlin continued to fight his way through the field and had made it up to 29th before the yellow flag came out once again on lap 225. This time Marlin reported that the car had begun to get "loose up off." The Coors Light crew was able to gain a spot after making a quick four tire, fuel and chassis adjustment stop and restarted 28th on lap 232.

In the remaining 80 laps, Marlin was able to gain several positions, eventually taking the checkered flag in the 25th spot.

Marlin's 25th-place finish dropped him one spot to 21st in the NEXTEL Cup championship points. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished 24th and 34th respectively.

The Coors Light team returns to Darlington Raceway for the second to last race of the season. The Mountain Dew Southern 500 will be broadcast live on NBC and MRN radio on Sunday afternoon.

-cgr-

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