Coors Light Dodge finishes 11th in Richmond. Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race. RICHMOND, Va. (May 5, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to an 11th place finish in the Pontiac...
Coors Light Dodge finishes 11th in Richmond.
Marlin remains first in the Winston Cup championship points race.
RICHMOND, Va. (May 5, 2002)-- Sterling Marlin drove the Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T to an 11th place finish in the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway. For the tenth straight race, Marlin remains the leader in the NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings; he has a 132 point lead over Matt Kenseth who is currently in second place.
The Coors Light Dodge started the rain-delayed event in 35th position on Saturday night in Richmond, Virginia. Marlin maneuvered his way from the back of the 43-car field to 20th position by lap 47. The Coors Light team completed their first pit stop of the night on lap 61 during a caution for rain; a two-tire pit stop that put Marlin out in the top-10 when the red flag came out on lap 66 for rain. The race was postponed with a restarting time of 12:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday's continuation of the Pontiac Excitement 400 saw the Coors Light Dodge restart the race in eighth place behind teammate Jimmy Spencer in seventh. Marlin kept the Coors Light Dodge in the top-5 from lap 85 to 105. The Coors Light Dodge slowly dropped back through the top-10 due to the car being tight off the corners and sliding on the track.
Following a yellow-flag pit stop on lap 193, Marlin fell back to the rear of the field for the first time of the day and restarted in 26th position. He was able to move up through the field and enter the top-10 by lap 227.
Marlin continued to race in the top-15 until he was caught up in an accident on lap 335. The Coors Light Dodge suffered minor body damage and Marlin went back out to restart in 16th position after pitting to change tires and repair the damage.
For the remaining 65 laps, Marlin crept up the field one pass at a time to take the checkered flag in 11th place. This is Marlin's third finish outside of the top-10 in 11 races this season. To date, the Coors Light team has scored two wins, four top-5s and eight top-10s in 11 starts this season. Marlin remains first in NASCAR Winston Cup championship points standings for the tenth straight race.
"We didn't run good, and we were lucky to finish 11th," Marlin said. "We had some bad luck, but I guess all-in-all we had some good luck, too. We almost pulled out another top-10, but if you can't finish in the top-10, I guess 11th is the next best thing. We managed to gain some more points on everybody except Kenseth. A lot of people had bad luck today, but that 17 car (Matt Kenseth) drove a heck of a race. Someone said he made up three laps, and he finished sixth, so that's a heck of a day. Looks like we're going to have to beat him and a bunch of other people, if we're going to win this championship. It's still early, but every race counts. You can't afford to let anything get away."
Next on the schedule for the No. 40 Coors Light team is the The Winston at Lowe's Motor Speedway on May 18, 2002.