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 STERLING MARLIN NOTES & QUOTES: THE BUD AT THE GLEN 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.