Tag Archives: Sterling Marlin

Frontstretch Fantasy Insider: Taming the Lady in Black

_There aren’t many places where every driver, not just the rookies, is told “race the track, not the pack.” But that’s the only means of survival at Darlington Raceway, a unique combination of rim-riding and abrasive asphalt that’s among the most grueling 500 milers on the Sprint Cup circuit. The track itself may be Too Tough To Tame, but fantasy racing this egg-shaped circuit is no problem for the Frontstretch Fantasy Insiders. Read on to find out which drivers have the inside track to surviving the difficult track conditions they'll face on Saturday night._

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Fan’s View: The Joys of Watching NASCAR’s Wayback Machine

On Saturday night, Bristol Motor Speedway held a little extra something for race fans across the nation. The Scotts Saturday Night Special entry list read like a NASCAR history book: Junior Johnson, Cale Yarborough and Harry Gant were only three of the drivers that brought us all back to better days. For the first time in an eternity, these legends got behind the wheel of a stock car and made some noise in Thunder Valley.

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2008 Driver Review: Sterling Marlin

Following the lead of other aging veterans, Sterling Marlin chose to cut back to a part-time schedule in 2008, signing up to drive for one of the most powerful independent owners in the Cup business these days – James Finch. But while the ride has produced such magic as a top-five finish for Mike Wallace in the 2007 Daytona 500, it did no such thing for the back-to-back champ of the Great American Race in 1994 and 1995. Instead, Marlin failed to qualify after a poor performance in the Duels, and things never improved from there. No top-20 finishes in 10 attempts wasn’t exactly what the semi-retirement doctor ordered, and probably has this veteran wishing he could have quit cold turkey.

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Bowles-Eye View: Out With The Old, In With The Who?

For so many millions of us, favorite athletes become so much more. Role models for our kids, our communities, ourselves; they’re put on a pedestal of success we can only wish to achieve. Through them, we choose to live our wildest dreams, placed in a fantasy world in which a larger-than-life persona can show us the joys of perfection. Every once in a while, we get lucky in love, and the dream never dies. Our idols leave the sport we love at the top of their game, and we’re allowed to remember the end just the way we want it – like a fairy tale. But more often, the bubble bursts and we find out the truth – that these drivers we worship are human, too, unable to fend off the inevitability of age and time. And that makes it so much harder when you see their careers come crashing down.

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The Yellow Stripe: Drought Busters – Who’s Gone The Longest Without A Trip To Victory Lane?

Over the last couple of years Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered his own version of an epic drought, as NASCAR’s most famous son hadn’t won a race for more than two whole seasons. While Earnhardt finally got his win — a fuel-mileage triumph at Michigan on June 15th — the streak lasted for a stretch of some 76 races, or 404 days for those so mathematically inclined. It’s fair to say the "Dale Jr. Drought" did not have the financial and societal effects of the Dust Bowl, but for those caught up in both — the workers so graphically depicted in Steinbeck’s tome and Junior Nation — it must have felt, for a while at least, as if it was never going to end. But end both did; and surprisingly enough, in each case the world continued to revolve safely on its axis.

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Running Their Mouth: 2008 Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington

Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Dodge Challenger 500 at Darlington Raceway.

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Mirror Driving: Mexico’s Blown Save, Jon Wood… Savior? And Saving Excitement At Talladega

The Sprint Cup Series was idle this week while the Nationwide Series teams went to Mexico City. Given the huge cost of the trip, should it be the other way around? Is it time for the Cup Series to have a race out of the country?

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Nationwide Series Breakdown: 2008 Pepsi 300 at Nashville

The last 60 laps then saw Scott Wimmer slowly run down Clint Bowyer, finally making the pass for the lead with 21 laps to go. Wimmer, along with the rest of the race leaders, drove "with an egg under the throttle," saving fuel to the finish to lock up the win for the No. 29 Chevrolet. Wimmer's victory was the first for a Nationwide Series regular this season. It was also the Wisconsin driver's first triumph since July of 2003 at Pikes Peak, as well as his first since aligning with Richard Childress Racing following the 2006 season.

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Racing At The Beach: Tragedy, Triumph, And Controversial Finishes, 2001-07

The 2000 edition of the Great American Race wasn't very good, but come 2001 NASCAR thought they'd developed a solution to ensure good racing at Daytona. A small spoiler called the "taxicab strip" was added to the roof of the Cup cars; NASCAR officials hoped the cars would punch a bigger hole in the air with the strip, allowing for more passing despite the restrictor plates. Whether the strip actually made for better racing is highly debatable; what was of greater importance was how drivers quickly reported the strips made the closing rate on a car ahead frighteningly fast. That led to some dangerous and ultimately tragic racing that unforgettable February afternoon.

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