Rockingham: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin has car troubles in Subway 400. Rockingham, N.C. (February 23, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin found some bad luck this weekend as he lost an engine in the Subway 400 at Rockingham and was forced out of the race early. Starting fourth in the...

Marlin has car troubles in Subway 400.

Rockingham, N.C. (February 23, 2003) --- Sterling Marlin found some bad luck this weekend as he lost an engine in the Subway 400 at Rockingham and was forced out of the race early.

Starting fourth in the Subway 400, Marlin raced in the top-10 for the first 120 laps of the event. From then, he raced in the top-15 until his engine went on lap 314. Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road to have the crew look at the problem. After going back out on the track, the team knew that the engine was gone and their day was done.

"Something happened to the motor," Marlin said after getting out of the car. "It got to missing real bad and pushing the water out of it. We had a good car early and we just kept adjusting on it. We had a real good car on the long runs. I think we could have stayed up there and got a top-5."

Tony Santanicola, Engine Specialist for Ernie Elliott Engines, explained that the water pump failed in the engine.

"The water pump failed," Santanicola said. "The front seal came out of it and then all of the water came out of the motor and it burned up. We're not sure why right now."

Although the Coors Light team had to retire early from the race, they had a great car and could have finished in the top-5 if not for the malfunction.

"We drove all the way up on Rusty (Wallace) on the long run and was a little quicker than him and I thought we'd be in good shape. The track changed and we got a little too tight. But the car would really come in after 20 laps of a run. We'll look for some luck in Las Vegas next weekend."

Hopefully, Sterling Marlin and the Coors Light team will find their luck in Las Vegas next weekend. Marlin is the defending champion at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the team will be returning with the same car that won the race last season. The UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 will be broadcast on FOX television and PRN radio on Sunday, March 2, 2003.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin