Marlin Scheduled To Make 700Th Start

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Sterling Marlin is scheduled to make his 700th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start in Sunday’s Sony HD 500 race at California Speedway.

But before Sunday rolls along, Marlin must qualify his No. 14 Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet during Friday's time trials.

The Columbia, Tenn.-native’s rise in NASCAR's premier series started 30 years ago -- May 8, 1976 -- when he competed in his first Cup race, subbing for his injured father -- Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin -- at Nashville Speedway.

Since then, Marlin has gone on to become one of NASCAR’s most recognizable names. To date, Marlin's career statistics include 10 wins, 83 top fives, 216 top 10s and earnings of more than $39 million.

“I didn’t even realize I was approaching 700 starts,” said Marlin. “That’s a pretty neat thing to achieve. When I got behind the wheel for the first time 30 years ago, I would’ve never imagined I’d still be doing it today. I feel very fortunate to have been able to something I love for all these years.”

Marlin will become the 11th driver in NASCAR Cup history to reach the 700-start milestone.

Other drivers with 700 starts include Richard Petty (1,185), Dave Marcis (883), Ricky Rudd (875), Terry Labonte (844), Darrell Waltrip (809), Kyle Petty (773), Bill Elliott (751), Bobby Allison (719), Rusty Wallace (706) and Buddy Baker (701).

“I’ve become a member of a pretty neat group of guys,” said Marlin. “There are some great names on that list and I’m proud to have joined it. Hopefully we can top the weekend off by having a good showing for the Ginn Clubs & Resorts Chevrolet.”

"One thing’s for sure-- when you've been messing with race cars like I've been doing since I was 12 or 13-years-old, time flies," continued Marlin. "Racing is my life and I'm still having a blast."

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