Texas: Sterling Marlin race report

Tough luck for Marlin at Texas. FT. WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2003) --- It was a sight not seen too often, Sterling Marlin running at the back of the field for an entire race. Marlin's Coors Light Dodge looked out of place as it started from the...

Tough luck for Marlin at Texas.

FT. WORTH, Texas (March 30, 2003) --- It was a sight not seen too often, Sterling Marlin running at the back of the field for an entire race. Marlin's Coors Light Dodge looked out of place as it started from the back in the Samsung/Radio Shack 500 and remained there for the 500-mile race.

Due to an engine change during "Happy Hour" practice on Friday, the Coors Light Dodge started the race in 43rd position at Texas Motor Speedway. Within the first 50 laps of the race and during the first caution of the race, Marlin sustained right front damage to his Coors Light Dodge. Marlin pitted for four tires and fuel and to check the damage. He went back out in 25th place but on the restart he radioed in that the car was very tight when turning and something must have broke during the incident. Marlin fell back to the back of the field due to the ill-handling car.

Thirty laps later, Marlin felt like he had a tire going down and pitted under green. The Coors Light team took their time to work on the right front fender, which was knocked in. Marlin lost valuable track position during the necessary pit stop, which he was unable to regain. Later in the race, the Coors Light team found that the toe of the car was off by a fourth due to the damage.

Marlin was never able to move back up the field and eventually finished in 29th place. He currently sits 23rd in championship points.

"We had some trouble early and had to play catch-up the rest of the day," Marlin said after the race. "It's a shame because we really had a top-5 car. That early accident hurt us. We'll try it again next week at Talladega."

Ryan Newman, driver of the #12 Alltel Dodge, won his first race of the season and the first win for Dodge for 2003. Teammates Jamie McMurray and Casey Mears finished the race 10th and 26th respectively.

The Coors Light team heads to Talladega Superspeedway this weekend for the Aaron's 499. The race will be broadcast live on April 6 on FOX television and MRN radio.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray