Pocono: Sterling Marlin race report

The Coors Light Dodge Slides to a 31st-place Finish at Pocono LONG POND, Pa., (June 13, 2004) --- While running 16th, the Coors Light Dodge got caught up with Scott Wimmer on lap 121 and finished 31st in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway. "It...

The Coors Light Dodge Slides to a 31st-place Finish at Pocono

LONG POND, Pa., (June 13, 2004) --- While running 16th, the Coors Light Dodge got caught up with Scott Wimmer on lap 121 and finished 31st in the Pocono 500 at Pocono Raceway.

"It looked like the 18 dropped some oil and the 22 got in it," Marlin said. "The 22 got loose and looked like he gassed it up to get down and he hung us in the right rear and turned us around. There was nothing anyone could do. We'd been pretty good. We got tight and couldn't ever get the balance back on it. We led a little bit and got up to 11th on the start. We were running fourth and cut a tire down. We got back in the back and were coming up through there. I feel bad for the guys on the Coors Light team. It's just been one of them years. We can't get things going, but this bunch doesn't give up. We're going to keep on working hard and get things turned around."

After starting 20th, Marlin started to drive up through the field and had broken into the top-10 when green flag pit stops began on lap 33. Marlin reported that the car was pushing when in traffic. The Coors Light crew made a trackbar adjustment and put fuel and four fresh tires on the car and was running 13th on lap 38.

When the yellow flag dropped on lap 49, Marlin was running in the 11th spot and radioed the crew that the car was a little loose in the center but not bad. Crew Chief Lee McCall made the call to only take on two tires and fuel and the Coors Light Dodge raced off pit road in the lead.

Marlin restarted at the front of the field and led a lap before being passed by Jimmie Johnson, the eventual race winner. The yellow flag waved again on lap 59 and Marlin was running fourth. Since the Coors Light Dodge had come down pit road only 10 laps earlier, Marlin opted to stay out for track position.

However, on lap 64 Marlin informed the crew that the right front tire was going down so he brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road under caution for four fresh tires, fuel, trackbar and air pressure adjustment. When the race resumed on lap 67 Marlin was 29th.

It only took Marlin 50 laps to pilot his Coors Light Dodge back up to the 13th position. Yet on lap 121 a misfortune with Bobby Labonte's oil line caused Wimmer to spin out. Marlin drove low on the track but Wimmer's car came shooting back down the track and Marlin went sliding through the grass after the contact.

Marlin brought the car to the garage where the Coors Light crew worked for 18 laps before returning the Coors Light Dodge to the track in the 34th spot, 17 laps down. Marlin and the Coors Light Dodge were credited with a 31st-place finish in the Pocono 500.

Marlin's 31st-place finish dropped him to 20th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points, 242 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished ninth and 10th respectively.

The Coors Light team races at Michigan International Speedway next weekend. The DHL 400 will be broadcast live on Sunday June 20th.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Sterling Marlin , Casey Mears , Jimmie Johnson , Jamie McMurray , Scott Wimmer