Marlin Cleared To Race
December 6, 2002 | 4:38 P.M. EST
Today, Marlin's CAT scan clearly showed healing of the C2 vertebra. Marlin will begin testing the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge at Talladega Superspeedway on December 9 and 10. During this time, Marlin will be fitted for the HANS device.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates certified athletic trainer, Al Shuford M.Ed,A.T.,C.-L, will continue working with Marlin on a stretch / strengthening program.
Marlin suffered a non-displaced fracture of the #2 cervical vertebra as a result of his accident at Kansas Speedway on September 29. Due to the injury, Marlin was sidelined for the remainder of the 2002 season and Jamie McMurray took over driving responsibilities in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge.
TV Guide will publish four NASCAR 2002 title holder collector's covers feauring Tony Stewart (Winston Cup), Ryan Newman (Winston Cup Rookie of the Year), Greg Biffle (Busch Series) and Mike Bliss (Craftsman Truck) Each Featured On Separate Cover
In its December 14 issue (on newsstands Monday, December 9), TV Guide® magazine honors four 2002 NASCAR title holders with four collector's covers available on newsstands in selected markets and available nationally online and by phone at the TV Guide Store (See below). Tony Stewart (Winston Cup), Ryan Newman (Winston Cup Rookie of the Year), Greg Biffle (Busch Series) and Mike Bliss (Craftsman Truck Series) each adorn a cover in the special series.
In a feature story on the four drivers that runs nationally, NASCAR bad boy Tony Stewart reflects on his passion for racing. "It amazes me how people want to make more out of it than what it is," he says. "It's a fascinating sport, and it always boils down to one thing: trying to be faster. To me, that's enough."
As for Newman, Fox Sports analyst (and three-time Winston Cup champ) Darrell Waltrip says that after a tight win over Jimmie Johnson for rookie honors, all eyes will be on him next season. "Repeating is the most difficult thing," says Waltrip. "Just look at [2000 Rookie of the Year] Matt Kenseth. His second year, he was dog meat. But younger guys can carry that intensity of wanting to get started again into next year. All they live for is to race."
Biffle, who will break into the Winston Cup freshman ranks next season, had to overcome a 262-point deficit early in the year, and says his 2002 tribulations made him physically ill at times.
"Any time you wreck, it hurts you so bad in the points - I go to the next race with cramps in my stomach," he says. "You're thinking, 'Gosh, if that happens again, I'm doomed.'"
Bliss, who steps up to the Busch series next year, enjoyed a dream 2002 after hooking up with old rival Steve Coulter's no-frills Xpress Motorsports team.
"I never ran this good with anybody else," Bliss says. "It's all about having the right people in the right places and a driver that really wants to win."