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NASCAR Winston Cup CMT 300 Preview: #4, Sterling Marlin

10 September 1997

 #4 Sterling Marlin, Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 CMT 300 Advance
 New Hampshire International Speedway
                 STERLING MARLIN NOTES & QUOTES: CMT 300
     'Stuff happens but there's been a lot of bad stuff this year'

LOUDON, NH - Bad luck continues to plague Sterling Marlin and the Kodak Gold 
Film Chevrolet team but they head to New Hampshire International Speedway 
this week hoping, again, to toss the proverbial monkey from their backs. The 
CMT 300 at the 1.058-mile oval is the next race on the NASCAR Winston Cup 

At Richmond this past week a broken axle sidelined the Kodak Gold Film 
Chevrolet for more than 60 laps in the 400-lap event, and Marlin finished 
39th in a car that seemed destined for at least a top-10 finish. The freak 
axle problem joined an ever-increasing list of bizarre problems the team has 
faced this season. The now infamous screwdriver-through-the-radiator in 
Darlington, S.C., in the spring apparently was just the beginning of the 
strange misfortunes to affect the team this year. There was the groundhog 
running through the timing lights during Marlin's qualifying run at Pocono, 
Pa.; two races where "invisible" debris shredded tires within the first 10 
laps of a race; an engine that led at Bristol, lost a cylinder, retook the 
lead and dropped a second cylinder; the list seems endless.

Marlin 40, is 10th among career money-winners in NASCAR Winston Cup racing. 
While the Columbia, Tenn., native will be replaced in the Kodak Gold Film 
Chevrolet by driver Bobby Hamilton in 1998, Marlin and the team have 
dedicated themselves to finishing the 1997 season on a high note.

The thoughts of Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet driver Sterling Marlin heading into 
New Hampshire:

"We've just about resigned ourselves to bad luck. We're just working harder 
and harder every week to get over it and to not let it get us down.

"I guess what we ought to do is make a list of everything bad that hasn't 
happened to us yet this season. That way we can check them off when they 
happen the rest of the year.

"We've all tried to put this bad luck thing behind us and figure a way of it, 
but it gets downright spooky sometimes. Who would have figured a broken axle 
at Richmond? Then again, who would have figured a screwdriver spearing the 
radiator at Darlington or a groundhog trying to commit Hari-Kari at Pocono?

"We keep working hard and it's paid off a lot of times. Hey, the worst 
possible things that could have happened to us happened at Dover (June) and 
Daytona (July). We cut a tire early in the race, and lost two laps at Dover 
and a lap at Daytona. That'll make you next to suicidal to lose laps at those 
places so early in the race but we came back both places with decent 
finishes. We made up the lap at Daytona and finished third. We didn't make up 
any laps at Dover but everybody worked hard all day and we finished 10th.

"The only thing we can figure is to keep working hard and hope things work 
out for us. It just seems everything that can go wrong has gone wrong this 
year. It would be a lot easier if it was somebody's fault or you could point 
fingers or find a way to blame something. But it's not those kind of things. 
Who are you going to blame when some other team leaves a screwdriver laying 
around? Who are you going to point fingers at when the groundhog does the 
laser-light dance? What do you say when the track spends all morning blowing 
the surface clean and you end up running over something anyway?

"There isn't anybody to blame. Stuff happens. Good stuff happens, bad stuff 
happens. We're just getting more than our share of bad stuff this year. Those 
little gremlins crawling over that Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet have had some 
fun with us so far this year but we're bound and determined to thrash those 
little critters before the year is out. I'd really like to take a baseball 
bat and beat the stuffing out of every one of them but I guess that isn't 
practical. So we'll keep working harder and harder and doing whatever we have 
to do to overcome this.

"That will happen. Believe me. These guys haven't forgotten how to win. There 
are still plenty of wins left in them. I just want to make sure they pick up 
their next couple of them while I'm still behind the wheel. Our goals are 
pretty straight forward the rest of the year. We want to pick up the pieces 
and finish this thing up on a high note, as high a note as we can."

By Williams Company of America, Inc.