Winston: Sterling Marlin race report

Marlin has a night of drama in The Winston CONCORD, N.C. (May 17, 2003) --- Although he did not win the $1 million prize for The Winston, Sterling Marlin saw his fair share of drama during the Saturday night non-points event. Marlin started in...

Marlin has a night of drama in The Winston

CONCORD, N.C. (May 17, 2003) --- Although he did not win the $1 million prize for The Winston, Sterling Marlin saw his fair share of drama during the Saturday night non-points event.

Marlin started in fifth position in the first 40-lap segment. The Coors Light crew performed their mandatory green-flag four-tire pit stop on lap 17 and Marlin went on to finish the first segment in seventh position, moving him on to the next round.

In the next segment, Marlin had to finish in the top-14 after 30 laps to continue for the $1 million dollar prize. He started segment two in seventh place and fell to the back due to a bad-handling car. On lap 45, the No. 24 car got into Marlin and sent him spinning in turn 3. Marlin recovered well and came in for a pit stop. He went back out at the back of the pack. A spin on lap 55 moved Marlin up to 18th position but he still had to gain four spots to make it in the final segment. Another spin and a caution put Marlin in 12th position but on the restart he fell back to 14th. With one lap to go in the second segment, Marlin avoided a multi-car accident to finish the segment in 10th place and moving him into the money round.

A fan vote on nascar.com inverted the field for the final 20-lap segment by 10 cars, putting Marlin on the pole position. On the start, Marlin pulled ahead of the field but NASCAR put the caution flag out to restart the race again. Some cars back in the field did not start the race correctly. On the second start of the final segment, Marlin was not able to get a good start on the field. In fact, within five laps he was at the back of the field. His ill-handling car kept him there and he finished in 12th position.

"You always think you can win, but we just never could get the balance on this car all week," Marlin said after the race. "The back end would fly and the front end would fly. We just never had it balanced at all. We were decent, but there at the end somebody hit me in the back off turn two and we did everything but wreck. Cars would get around us in traffic and it would pick the back end off the ground.

"We'll bring another car back for the 600. I think our 600 car has a little better body on it. The motor was good, but we've just got to get the balance right for the 600."

The Coors Light team will race this Sunday, May 25 in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on FOX television and PRN radio at 5:30 p.m. ET.

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Sterling Marlin