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NASCAR Winston Cup Series Dura-Lube 500 Preview: #4, Sterling Marlin

29 October 1997

 #4 Sterling Marlin, Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 Dura-Lube 500 Presented by Kmart Advance
 Phoenix International Raceway
              'Maybe the desert will bring us some good luck'

PHOENIX, AZ - Sterling Marlin and the Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet team have two 
races remaining the season to overcome a year's worth of bad luck and finish
the season on a high note. This week's Dura-Lube 500 at Phoenix (Ariz.)
International Raceway comes at a speedway where the Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet
team has been strong historically, and the season then ends at another strong
track for the team, Atlanta Motor Speedway.

With new driver Bobby Hamilton coming to the team in 1998, Marlin hopes to
leave the Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet team after a strong season finish. The
team has won at least one race each season in the 1990's, a feat that is
matched only by Richard Childress (Dale Earnhardt); Rick Hendrick (Terry
Labonte's current team); Roger Penske (Rusty Wallace); and Robert Yates (Ernie
Irvan's current team). Morgan-McClure Motorsports' six wins with Marlin since
the beginning of the 1994 season include two Daytona 500's.

To reach that point, the Kodak Gold Film team will have to overcome some of
the worst - and strangest - luck any team in NASCAR history has seen over the
course of a single year. At Talladega, Ala., two weeks ago, Marlin and the
team suffered the worst of luck. Working one of the strongest cars in the 
field and apparently in a position to pull off the victory, Marlin was caught 
in a 15-car melee triggered by another car's problems, destroying the Kodak
Gold Film Chevrolet and ending Marlin's chances. Such luck is the type the
team has suffered from all season: a screwdriver through the radiator at
Darlington in March; a groundhog shorting out the track's electrical system in
the middle of a qualifying run in June; twice hitting debris and cutting tires
in the first two laps of races.

Marlin, team manager Larry McClure, crew chief Robert Larkins and the Kodak
Gold Film Chevrolet crew have dedicated themselves to pulling the team from
the mires of "bad luck" and finishing the season on a high note, and with the
streak of winning seasons intact. Though well back in the NASCAR Winston Cup
standings, the team is still within a finish in the top 20 and still has its
sights set on finishing the season with at least one win.

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

"Even with just two races left in the season, we're still figuring on winning
at least one race before the year is out. There is a lot of talent on this
team and there is a lot of optimism too. The fact that there are just two
races left is a challenge but it's not something we can't overcome. There are
people who have figured we were out of it before and they were wrong then too.
We were written off before two Daytona 500s that I can think of right off the
bat, and I guess they were pretty wrong there.

"We've had some pretty rotten luck this season. It's some of the worst I can
remember any team going through in any year at any time. But we've just got to
overcome that too. Yeah, I can sit here and recite the worst. The crash at
Talladega a couple of weeks ago - that was a car that was very capable of
winning that race. We felt we were going to win it. Then the crash. We had
that screwdriver shoot through the radiator at Darlington in the spring. We
cut tires twice within the first two laps of races by hitting debris. Then
there was the infamous "groundhog" incident, where the critter decided to go
walking during our qualifying lap at Pocono and shorted out the track's

"But we know we can overcome the luck because we've done it. One of those
tracks where we cut tires early was Daytona in July. The second lap of the
race I hit something and cut down a tire. We were in the pits to change tires
and lost a lap. Lose a lap at a place like Daytona and that pretty much ends
your day. But the crew kept working hard, giving me good stops, and I had a
really good car. We never gave up and were able to get our lap back and finish
third in that race. Another few laps, and I think we would have won the thing.

"Maybe the desert will bring back some luck to us. Maybe there is some Indian
Medicine Man out there who will take pity on us and get us back on the right
track in the luck department. Somebody was telling me you can drink
rattlesnake juice for good luck. I know they have plenty of rattlesnakes in 
the desert - now if we can just talk somebody on the team into drinking the 
juice from one.

"Truth is, luck or no luck, we've got to keep working hard and keep going.
When it's all said and done, the people winning races are making their own
luck, and that's what we have to keep on doing. Sometimes circumstances aren't
going to be the best, so you have to put that aside and keep on going. We
aren't going to lay down and say, 'Well, our luck stinks so let's give up.'
We're going to keep working as hard as we can and doing whatever it takes to
win races. No, we're not going to win the championship this year but we can
still win some races, and we're going to do what it takes to do that.

"Phoenix could be that kind of track for us. A lot of people who needed to win
have found Phoenix a good place to do just that. Alan Kulwicki won his first
race there. Bobby Hamilton won his first race there just last year. It
wouldn't be the first one we won but it could be one of the most important
ones for us. I've finished third there twice, and we know what it takes to win

"Winning is what this Kodak Gold Film Chevrolet team is planning on doing."

By Williams Company of America, Inc.