Richmond: Sterling Marlin race report

Short One Caution, Marlin Not Able to Better 23rd-Place Finish in Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (May 6, 2007) -- There were 14 cautions in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Had the yellow flag flown one more time, Sterling ...

Short One Caution, Marlin Not Able to Better 23rd-Place Finish in Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (May 6, 2007) -- There were 14 cautions in Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. Had the yellow flag flown one more time, Sterling Marlin most likely would have bettered his 23rd place finish.

Marlin struggled with handling problems during the 300-mile, 400-lap event. But as the race was winding down on the three-quarter-mile short track, Marlin's No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet was picking up steam and clicking off lap times comparable to some of the drivers who finished in the top 10.

"We were fast at the end, the car felt good," said Marlin. "Had we gotten back on the lead lap, we would have gained a lot of positions."

It appeared Marlin was going to get back on the lead lap when NASCAR brought out the caution on Lap 373. Before the yellow flag flew, Marlin's No. 14 Ginn Racing machine was the first car a lap down. But as he slammed the brakes to avoid a wreck in front of him, Marlin got passed for that coveted "Lucky Dog" spot, according to NASCAR's scoring loop.

"Not getting the Lucky dog when we thought we had it really hurt our chances," said crew chief Slugger Labbe. "We needed one more caution shortly after because our car was dialed in at the end and ready to pick off a number of spots in track position."

"We're improving with the Car of Tomorrow (COT) program," added Labbe. "We were better than we were in Phoenix where we finished 27th."

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin