Special from the Tennessean: Nashville, TN (Wednesday, July 8, 2020) – Not even a pandemic and a broken foot are enough to make Sterling Marlinput the brakes on his racing career.
The two-time Daytona 500 champion, who celebrated his 63rd birthday on June 30, said he will climb back into his car when the cast is removed from his right foot and race in the featured pro late model division at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
It could be as early as July 18 when the next race is scheduled at the historic track or no later than the race after that on Aug. 8.
“I’m ready to get back out there. I would’ve already been out there if I didn’t have this cast on my foot,” Marlin said.
Marlin broke his foot jumping off a tractor on the farm he manages in Columbia. It forced him to miss the season-opening race July 4 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
The first race was postponed seven times because of the coronavirus pandemic. .
Marlin was in the pits for the first race. Mike Murray IIIdrove Marlin’s No. 48 in the pro late models. It’s the same car Marlin drove when he claimed his 64th victory in 2018 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway.
“We’ve got a good car,” Marlin said. “It’s the car we won with before, so I feel good about it. We can win in it again.”
Murray finished 17th in the first race.
Marlin won the Daytona 500 in 1994 and 1995. After retiring from NASCAR in 2009, he returned to Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to race again where he got his start in 1976. .
Marlin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2012 and in 2019 underwent deep brain stimulation surgery, which helped him extend his career.
Marlin needs two more victories at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway to tie Joe Buford, who holds the all-time point series wins record at 66 races.
Marlin is the leader in career wins in the premier division at the track among active drivers. Mark Day (50) is second and Chad Chaffin (39) third.
By: Mike Organ – Nashville Tennessean
Photo By: Mike Organ – Nashville Tennessean