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NASCAR Winston Cup Bud at Watkins Glen Preview: #4, Sterling Marlin

5 August 1997

 #4 Sterling Marlin, Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 The Bud at the Glen Advance
 Watkins Glen International

WATKINS GLEN, NY - Sterling Marlin and the Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet team 
head to Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International this week, still hoping to shake 
the shroud of bad luck and move back into the winner's circle. The luck 
continued over the weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the Kodak 
Gold Film team saw three engines have problems, including one that let go two 
laps into the Brickyard 400.

Marlin, 40, didn't seem particularly surprised that the string of 
black-cat-dodging luck had affected the team again. Every type of misfortune 
has seemed to follow the team, which is consistently one of the winningest in 
NASCAR Winston Cup racing. Besides the usual string of suspects one would 
consider bad luck for race teams, the Kodak Gold Film team has seen a 
screwdriver blister through its radiator at Darlington, S.C.; and has twice 
found debris in the opening laps of events, sending the car back to the pits 
for tire changes.

Twentieth in the NASCAR Winston Cup standings, Marlin is still within 153 
points of 13th and has a legitimate shot to finish the year in the top 10. 
Along the way, the Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet is hoping for a race victory or 
two as well.

The thoughts of Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet driver Sterling Marlin heading into 
Watkins Glen:

"We need a good run. Plain and simple. This team has been struggling with its 
luck all season long and we don't just need a good break, we really deserve a 
good break. (Crew chief) Robert Larkins and the boys have been working hard 
to get everything right every week. We've had some pretty good luck from time 
to time over the years but it's hard to believe the luck we've had this year 
is evening anything out. We've got to be behind on good luck, and good luck 
has got to be on its way now. It's just a little slow getting here.

"Indianapolis was really disappointing. From the start it looked like we had 
a really good car. We picked up some positions right away. I know it's hard 
to believe anybody could figure anything out about a race car in two laps 
but, believe me, Robert and the boys had really put something pretty good 
together. I don't think you can figure we would have been 158 laps after that 
but it sure felt like we were going to be in the hunt.

"All we can do is head to Watkins Glen and do the best we can. We want to do 
well for ourselves, obviously, and we want to do well for Kodak. Our sponsor 
is just down the road (Rochester, N.Y.) And the usually have a pretty good 
group come out for the Watkins Glen races. It's hard not to be excited about 
a race when you have a couple hundred people out there pulling for you. Man, 
it's something at the first part of the race to see all the gold lined up 
along the fences and in the pits. If the sun shines the wrong way on them, a 
good group of Kodak employees can just about blind you on the parade laps! It 
makes you feel pretty nice knowing they are there rooting you on. Those folks 
work pretty hard to get Kodak Gold Film made and out to the stores. And the 
guys on this race team work as hard as they can to make those Kodak employees 
proud of us.

"I guess Watkins Glen isn't right in the thick of the biggest marketing area 
in the United States but I think it's a pretty important market for all of 
us, whether it's Kodak or anybody else. There is a lot of history at Watkins 
Glen. Some of the greatest Formula One races run in this country were held 
there. And the place goes back forever. That history and that prestige gets a 
lot of attention from people all over the country. Sure, there is a lot of 
prestige to winning Daytona or Indy, but there is a ton for winning at 
Watkins Glen too. The greatest names in racing have won there and built a 
great tradition there. We're building our own tradition, too, but we're 
building it on what they've already built. It may not be the biggest market 
but Watkins Glen is one of the most important because of that.

"We're going into this race planning on winning it. I know we're going to do 
everything we can to win it. It's tough. There is an awful lot of compromise 
to any road course and how well you do depends on how well you compromise. 
That first turn down at the bottom of the hill is just as important as that 
last turn at the top of it. If you're going to do well there, you'd better do 
well all the way around the place. It's not always the fastest car that wins 
any race but it's rarely the fastest car that wins at Watkins Glen. It's the 
best car. And, believe me, there can be a big difference between the two.

"The luck's been bad this year but it's almost to the point where we ignore 
it. We figure we'll do the best we can and let luck do whatever it does. 
Maybe it will turn our way one time and we can show what this Kodak Gold Film 
team is really capable of doing. We're planning on that coming this week." 

By Williams Company of America, Inc.