In the pits- Ginn
A Q&A with Sterling Marlin
Veteran driver looks for renaissance year with new Ginn racing team
After 30 years on the NASCAR Cup circuit, two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin knows that things will not always be easy. So after a disappointing 2006 season with his No. 14 team, Marlin is looking for revitalization in 2007.
Now, with Panasonic joining forces with Waste Management, his first full season with crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe, and with the addition of Mark Martin to the Ginn Racing driver lineup, Marlin talks about his expectations for 2007 and predicts an exciting year for the growing organization.
Question: There’s been a lot of growth at Ginn Racing in the last six months. Talk about the changes and what it means to you as a driver.
Answer: When Bobby (Ginn) purchased the team last year, it was like he lifted a cloud that had been hanging over the organization. He really brought excitement and confidence to everyone at the shop.
It’s amazing to have seen the amount of expansion that’s taken place in such a short amount of time. Ginn Racing went from 60 to 160 people very quickly, and I think we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with each and every week.
Question: What are you looking to achieve on the Nextel Cup circuit in 2007?
Answer: We didn’t get the results we hoped for last year, but I think we made a lot of progress in our performances, especially toward the end of the season.
This season our goal is to be competitive each week and consistently run in the top 10. We have to be fast on pit road and eliminate any problems we have control over, so that when we face a situation we don’t have control of, we’re in the best situation to handle it.
Question: You have 711 Nextel Cup starts going into the season. What are your thoughts on that?
Answer: It’s pretty neat. That’s a whole lot of races and I feel lucky to have been doing this for such a long time. It’s a strange feeling to look at some of the guys out there competing with me every week and know that I’ve been racing since before they were born.
Question: Mark Martin will share the No. 01 ride with Regan Smith this year. What are your thoughts on being Mark’s teammate?
Answer: Mark’s a heck of a racecar driver, and I think the whole organization is excited to have him on our team. He’s won a lot of races at every level in NASCAR, and I think his experience, success and ideas will help get this team to the next level.
Question: What are your thoughts on Slugger?
Answer: So far, Slugger and I have really hit it off. Our performances improved drastically toward the end of last year, and a lot of that had to do with bringing Slugger on board. Slugger has what it takes to win races, so I’m excited about our first full season together.
Question: What do you enjoy doing off the track?
Answer: We’ve got a good bit of land back home, and we’re developing some, so I spend a lot of time clearing property. Working—that’s what I enjoy—spending time with my family.
Question: Were you excited to see your good friend Peyton Manning win his first Super Bowl?
Answer: Oh, yes. He’s one of the greats when it comes to quarterbacks, and he deserved to win.
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