Marlin's Brush with the Wall Results in 26th-place Finish FT. WORTH, Texas (April 4, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin saw his chances for a win hit the wall during the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. When the green flag dropped...
Marlin's Brush with the Wall Results in 26th-place Finish
FT. WORTH, Texas (April 4, 2004) --- Sterling Marlin saw his chances for a win hit the wall during the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.
When the green flag dropped on Sunday's race Marlin was in the 14th starting position, his best ever starting spot at Texas Motor Speedway. During the first caution on lap 17, Marlin reported that the car was tight. The Coors Light crew elected to put two fresh right side tires on and make an air pressure adjustment.
When Marlin was exiting the pits the Coors Light Dodge grazed the 22 car of Scott Wimmer. No significant damage was done and Marlin restarted the race second behind Rusty Wallace. Marlin quickly took over the lead a lap later and held it for 17 laps. Marlin continued to swap the first and second position for the next ten laps until lap 49 when he was passed by Kasey Kahne.
Green-flag pit stops began on lap 79 and Marlin brought the Coors Light Dodge down pit road on lap 81 for four tires and fuel. When the green-flag pit stops had cycled through Marlin was still running second. The yellow flag came out on lap 117 and Marlin was radioing that the car was "aero tight and tight up off." The Coors Light crew made a four tire, fuel, air pressure adjustment and fixed the minimal damage to the right front caused by the pit road melee earlier.
Marlin continued to run in the top-five when he restarted the race on lap 124 in the third position. However, just five laps later the Coors Light Dodge got tight and Marlin was unable to turn it in and hit the fence off turn 2. The yellow flag was not waved so Marlin brought the car down pit road under green-flag racing. The Coors Light crew worked feverishly to repair the right side damage and was able to send the Coors Light Dodge back out five laps later in the 37th spot.
Marlin and the Coors Light crew continued to battle on the track and in the pits and with five more cautions over the next 200 laps, Marlin was able to finish the race 26th.
Marlin's 26th place finish dropped him to 14th in the NEXTEL Cup championship points just 17 points out of the top 10. Ganassi teammates Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray finished seventh and tenth respectively.
The Coors Light team is off next weekend for Easter. The next race is at Martinsville Speedway in two weeks.