Pocono: Marlin - Dodge interview

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger) OPENING REMARKS "We're going to try to (bounce back and win at Pocono). Of the six races we got caught up in three wrecks that weren't our fault. We had a good car at Darlington, ran in the...

STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Charger)

OPENING REMARKS "We're going to try to (bounce back and win at Pocono). Of the six races we got caught up in three wrecks that weren't our fault. We had a good car at Darlington, ran in the top five and cracked a block. At Phoenix and Richmond we were just terrible. Pocono has been a pretty good track for us. We've always run pretty good here, and I think we led some laps last spring and qualified fourth here last fall. I've always enjoyed racing here at Pocono."

COMMENT ON GOLF TOURNAMENT "We've been doing it the past five or six years for the Rotary Club. They make a lot of donations to the local charities in Columbia and Franklin, Tenn."

COMMENT ON RUNNING BUSCH RACE IN NASHVILLE THIS WEEKEND "With Fitz-Bradshaw I'm going to run the Busch race this weekend. It wasn't on the schedule, but Scott Lagasse didn't get approved at Dover. I guess I'll run Nashville and Kentucky and possibly two or three more races to help them out until Scott can get going and get approved and run the bigger tracks."

COMMENT ON NOT SHIFTING AT POCONO "It'll definitely be a different deal. We always qualified on Friday and Happy Hour was on Saturday, but it's been a long time, probably since the mid-90s, that we're not shifting gears. It's going to be a lot different. We've got a two-hour practice today, and we'll line up and qualify tomorrow. It'll be a lot different."

HOW WILL YOU HANDLE NOT SHIFTING? "It'll probably make me better because I'm not any good on a road course. I'll do better. We were up here one time with the 4 car and shifting and not shifting I was like half a second better not shifting. That was before they turned all the high rpm's and stuff. With the shifting, some guys will shift on the chute, shifting going into turn three and it got where we were really busy in the car. The rpm's are going to be way down, and it's going to be a whole different deal for us."

IS SOMEONE PRACTICING THE BUSCH CAR TODAY? "I think (David) Stremme is going to shake it down. Fedewa was going to drive it in one practice and Stremme in the other practice. I guess we'll qualify at 4 o'clock tomorrow evening, so I'm going to ride with Carl Edwards and Jack tomorrow and go down and get qualified tomorrow if the hurricane doesn't get us."

WHAT'S THE KEY TO RACING AT POCONO? "A good handling car, you really try to concentrate on turn three, getting your car handling good. If you're too tight or too loose, guys can get up under you and get by you down the front straightaway. That's where I try to concentrate to make my car the best."

DO YOU THINK THERE WILL BE A LOT OF 'CAGES RATTLED' ON SUNDAY? "I don't know. You might have to ask Gordon and Stewart. We just need to be ahead of them. We've been caught up in everybody else's mess the last three out of six races. It's getting king of frustrating."

DO YOU THINK THERE'S BEEN AN UNUSUAL AMOUNT OF WRECKS AND CAUTIONS THIS SEASON? "Charlotte was a totally different deal for the 600. I think they had 22 cautions. It was a deal where they didn't grind the track off turn two. If you had somebody cleared going into one you just had to let off and go easy because you were going to spin out. Talladega, there's usually a big one and took out a bunch of us. We got caught in a deal last week where we were trying to miss a wreck, threw up a hand and got caught from behind and knocked the back end off the car. It's been pretty frustrating, but there's nothing you can do about it. What got us in the deal last week, we pitted and they left the wheels loose on the right front and had to come back in under green and lost two laps. We were back there with all the mess and got wrecked."

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT THIS WEEKEND? "Hopefully we can get up front. We should have won this race a couple of times and Bill got by us in 2003 with five or six laps to go. We ran third. The car was great all day and got loose at the end. I've come real close and always qualified good and raced good. It'll be a good turning point for us to get a win for the Coors Light Dodge."

ANY UPDATE ON YOUR RACING FUTURE? "Hopefully we can get everything put together. I've got a meeting next week on a couple of deals. Hopefully by the time we get to Daytona Beach on July 4th we'll have our ducks in a row. We'll run the full Cup deal. We might 20-25 Busch races (for Fitz-Bradshaw). The Busch cars are pretty close to the Cup cars, and that's really the only reason I did it this year, to help the Cup side with air pressure and springs and shocks and stuff you might find over there to transfer over here."

HAVE RUMORS ABOUT NEXT YEAR BEEN A DISTRACTION? "No, not at all. I've been doing this a long time, so not at all."


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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Scott Lagasse Jr.