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Race 2 Win's Q&A with Sterling Marlin
Part One

Jan 2001 - Sterling Marlin, driver of the number 40 Coors Light Dodge, was the driver chosen to participate in the 2001 edition of Race 2 Win's Q&A sessions.

Sterling took time out of his schedule to field questions from the readers of Race 2 Win.


I believe I read that when the Dodge tests were going on at Talladega there were specific instructions to intentionally blow the motors. What could be gained by doing this! Is it to try and stretch the limits on these engines, Or rather to see what the stress levels are?
Jeff Fisher

Nah, we didn't do that. We just had a bad batch of blocks that were real thin and cracking, but we didn't try to blow them though.


Hey Sterling, Here's one for ya, Why is it everytime you are running well and something goes wrong (like your motor goes south in this past season) you always still have a smile on your face and a funny thing to say. Do you ever get pissed off?
Jeffrey Howes
Lake Worth, FL

Oh yeah! Oh, I get pissed off, but nothing much I can do about it, I didn't build the motor. There just comes a point in time when you say enough is enough of losing motors or something else keeps happening. All you can do is stop and try to fix whatever needs fixing in all the areas.


Will you test at Chicago Speedway in Joliet,Il before the race in July and would you like to stop out for a cookout while you are in town? We live on a big NASCAR fan street. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and good luck next season!!
Kevin McClean
Coal City, Il

Yes, but not sure when exactly. Thanks for the invitation, but seriously, I'm always running 50 different directions and don't know where I'll end up by day's end. I barely have time to keep up with the scheduled events now.


Do any of your kinfolks have the last name of Love?
Chris Helm
Batesville, AR

Don't think so, not that I know of anyway.


Hey Sterling, you are absolutely to be commended for driving the wheels off the cars you have been provided this year. I truly believe you could win numerous races within a season if the equipment was up to par with the top ten teams. My questions is are you really comfortable w/Ginabco and have you truly gotten any offers from any top ten teams? You certainly cannot do any worse. I hate seeing you in a somewhat mediocre ride!
Bill Monaghan
Riverside, R. I.

Thanks Bill. I'm totally comfortable with the new Ganassi team. I got a few good offers from other teams last year, but declined because I knew with the change to Dodge and looking at what Chip has accomplished in the past, and with Andy Graves being the team manager, I needed to stay put where I'm at.


Planning on doing anything exciting January 15 !!??
Merritt Island

Testing in Daytona on January 16th and 17th we hope.


What are your feelings regarding "Teammates" Are you for or against it? I have followed your career since the time when you signed with Jr. And personally, I don't feel that a teammate has helped you at all, On the plate tracks you never get any respect! You Da Man when it comes to those tracks! And seems to me nobody will help you at Daytona & Dega!
Jeff Fisher
Hornlake, Ms.

Teammates can be a good thing if the two drivers get along and are willing to share their information together. When I was with Junior Johnson, man, that team fought like cats and dogs, so it wasn't a good deal. But, when Joe Nemechek and I were teammates, it worked great. We helped each other by providing information on the motor and stuff plus we got along great! As far as anyone helping me on the track, hey, can't do nothing about it or worry about it. Maybe I should paint a big old #3 on the car in Talladega or Daytona and then maybe they'd follow me around. (laughs)


Will the motors hold up better than last year and will they have enough horsepower to keep up with the Gordons, Labontes, Jarretts and Stewarts?
Scott Thompson
Mount Olive, NC

I think so. We tested in Kentucky recently and that went real well. We ran the cars hard to see what would break, so that's why we're currently testing a lot to see what we got.


Sterling, What gives? Have you guys decided that winning isn't important anymore? Every time you climbed in the #4 car, we thought you had a shot to take the checkered flag, but not anymore. Winston Cup racing gets awfully boring when the same guys finish in the top ten every week.
I'm a Gator fan and I guess your getting as used to losing as the Vols are to us (ouch)!
Come on man, get in victory lane or move to a team that will get you there! If you do, I'll tell Coach Spurrier to go easy on the Vols!
Brian Marsh
Jacksonville, FL

(Laughs) Well, man, you drive the equipment you have as hard as you can drive it. If I have a 10th place car, then I have a 10th place car. You damn right winning is the most important thing to me on the track!


With all the boring cookie-cutter racetracks being built that pattern themselves around Charlotte and Michigan speedways, the new tracks are pretty boring and stale. What types of racetracks would YOU like to see being built?

I think we need more Bristol's myself. The fans love it, it's good close competition all day long. There's just too many mile or mile and half tracks now. Take New Hampshire for example, it's a flat one mile and it's basically playing follow the leader with little or no passing.


OK, since this is no holds barred, that you would answer anything? How do you REALLY feel about the restrictor plates? I don't want to here those any of the comments you use on raceday, you know like those you used after the Rump Ranger lost control and took you out at Dega back in 96 or 97! You were restrained with your comments, So I say again How do you really feel about them?
Jeff Fisher
Hornlake, MS

Well, restrictor plate racing makes a good show for the fans I guess, but it's as frustrating as the devil to the driver. If you happen to get stuck around 15th place, you cannot hardly advance. Daytona to me is not as good as Talladega, in 'Dega you got 40 cars all on top of each other battling it out. But, with the new 'Dega rules, that may make Daytona more competitive as well.


Have you ever been in a fistfight with any other driver? How bad did you hurt him?
Batesville, AR

(Laughs) Naah, had a hold of a few collars, but that's about it.


What's up Sterl, I know a lot of athletes watch quite a bit of film of games. Do you ever watch any tapes of races to pick up something you may miss from your seat in the car?
Bill Graves
Gallatin, Tenn.

Very seldom, again not much time to spend watching tapes. I may occasionally look at a tape of a race that's coming up to see what strategy the driver and crew used with pit stops, taking on how many tires, etc., but generally, no I don't look at tapes.


As of now, how does Ernie Elliott's Dodge horsepower stack up with what you were getting this past year? Will there be a noticeable improvement in this department for the Coors/BellSouth teams in 2001?

I say they stack up right with everyone else's. And yes, you'll see improvement right off the bat in my opinion.


What Kind of Metal detector would you recommend for a beginner?
Searcy, Arkansas

I'd say to get the White 6000 for sure.


Sterling, I know that you are a second generation driver and that your son Steadman is driving stock cars. Do you think that it will be easier or harder for him to break into the upper circuits of NASCAR? and why?
Mary Wittler
Elliott, IA

Oh, it's a bit easier for Steadman considering he has grown up in the sport his whole life and his Dad is actively involved. Heck, back when I was coming up, don't know how smart this was, but Daddy turned me loose when I was only 17 in his Winston Cup car to get some seat time! Luckily, Chip has allowed Steadman to drive the Cup car some to get a bit of seat time. It's so expensive nowadays to get the seat time, not like back when I was coming up through the ranks, back then it was no big deal.


Mr. Marlin, What do you think of starting the Dodge program up? How competitive do you think they will be in the beginning of the year, and how competitive will they be near the end of the year? Also, since you've run a Chevrolet in the past few years, how close aerodynamically is the Intrepid vs. the Monte Carlo?
Being a huge Dodge fan, I can't wait to see Dodge back in Victory Lane.
Dan Fehr
Davis, IL

We'll be very competitive. Aerodynamically, I really don't know, I never got a lot of time in the wind tunnel in the Monte Carlo so it's hard to compare.


How can I get you to autograph my diecast cars? I have been a fan of yours since 1995 and I would like to meet you, I live in Pa not far from Pocono Raceway. Good luck, 2001 is going to be a winning season for you. If it's all possible can I get an autographed picture from you? Thanks
David Santomauro

The best advice I can give is to mail it to my fan club site and we'll see about getting it back as soon as we can. Or if you're coming to Pocono, hey, hang by the fence and get my attention, I'll gladly come over and sign it for you.


First of all, I'd like to say that I've you've been my favorite driver since I started watching NASCAR back in the early 90's. I'd just like to ask, what do you think of the switch to Dodge for the upcoming season? Best of luck in 2001!
Chris Beach
London, Ontario, Canada

Thanks Chris. We're excited, anticipating great things and quickly and have high hopes to end the season somewhere in the Top-5.


Will Steadman be running in more Busch races in 2001? And do you have plans to run in any Busch races in 2001?
Ryan Colwell

Not sure about any Busch races for Steadman or myself, but Steadman will participate in probably at least 10 ARCA races.


Are you going to miss being with Chevrolet? or do you think Dodge will be an upside to your career?
Adam Despain
Las Vegas, NV

Well, I drove those Chevy's a long time. I just want to be competitive and win, period. Dodge will help me get to the point I want to be, which is winning, so it's definitely an upside.


Hey sweetie :) Do you have any raceday superstitions??
Manayunk, PA

Nope, not a single superstition I can think of.


Are you going to do another UT car? If so, will it be different from the other UT car?
Jasper, TN

Well, if The University of Tennessee football team wins another Championship, but we know that ain't going to be this year, then yeah, maybe. And if the Tennessee Titans were to win the Super Bowl, that would be a paint scheme to consider doing too.


How much sharing of information do the new Dodge teams expect from Ray Evernham and his operation during the course of the upcoming season?
Seabrook, TX

We're all sharing all information we learn in the wind tunnel tests. Let's say our car was a 400 drag, Dodge would tell the others that Chip's team had 400 drag so you need to work on your stuff to make it as good.


Do you have a workout regimen that you adhere to on a weekly basis? You look like you're in pretty good shape!
Jasper, TN

Nah, not much, no time. I do a little more in the winter, lift a few weights or get out and run a little, but nothing regularly like I should be doing.


Do you still think you have a chance for a championship in Winston Cup?
Jasper, TN

Always, yes, no doubt about it.


Considering your "Celebrity Status" Do you ever worry about being a target for Stalkers? Do you have any bodyguards? for you or your family? The reason I ask is because John Lennon never gave it a second thought, And we all know what happened to him.
Jeff Fisher
Hornlake, Ms.

Not really. I have too much other stuff to worry about first. Hey, I might get stalked by Earnhardt fans if I were to spin him out or put him in the wall though. (laughs)


How many more years do you plan on driving? After driving, what's next or what will you do?
Jasper, TN

Maybe 5-7 more years. If you're still having fun and are competitive, I say run. I'm still having a lot of fun everytime I set foot in the racecar, so I'm here for a while. As far as what I'll do after I stop driving, probably tend the farm, the cattle, plus I have rental property to maintain, so I'm sure I'll find enough stuff to keep me busy.


  • Part Two
  • Part Three


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