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Marlin Gives Ownership A Whirl

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, March 18 2010

Sterling Marlin is done as a driver, not as a team owner. (HHP Images/Harold Hinson)

By Larry Woody | Senior Writer

Nashville – Sterling Marlin, retired after 30 years as a driver in NASCAR’s Cup Series, is involved in the sport in a new role: team owner.

Well, sort of.

The two-time Daytona 500 champion is listed as co-owner of a new team, BD Racing, which plans to compete in the Sunoco National Tour this season, but Marlin said his role is mostly as an “advisor.’’

“I’ve agreed to help them out a little,” he said.

BD Racing is named for Bryan Dant, an acquaintance of Marlin’s from Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway. The team is fielded out of Performance Motorsports shop in Richmond, Mich. Brian Oritz, a 21-year-old kart champion from Puerto Rico, will drive for the team.

The first of the 10-race schedule starts March 27 at New Smyrna Speedway in Florida.

As for his own driving plans, Marlin – who had run a limited Cup schedule the last few years – has a Late Model car that he may race some at the Fairgrounds. A promoter hopes to run a final few races on the old track that’s scheduled to close this summer. Marlin said he may also take an occasional trip to Montgomery.

Marlin joined Darrell Waltrip and some other former Fairgrounds drivers in lobbying the city to keep the track operating, but with no success. Nashville Mayor Karl Dean remains determined to shut down the 53-year-old facility and put the property to other uses.

As for Sterling’s Sprint Cup career:

“It’s over,” Marlin said. “I won’t be racing any more.”

Marlin said he hasn’t attended any races this year, not even to Daytona as a spectator.

“I don’t think I’d enjoy just standing around watching,” he said. “I might go down to Talladega when they run there … I haven’t decided for sure.”

The budding racing career of his daughter Sutherlin has been put on hold while she undergoes treatment for an eye problem. Son Steadman has no ride prospect on the immediate horizon.

Marlin said he “stays too busy” to miss racing, operating his farm in Maury County and spending time with two grandchildren.

“Between the farm and the grandkids and all the chores that (wife) Paula gives me, I’ve got about all I can handle,” he said with a laugh. “It (big-league racing) was fun, but like everything else it had to end sometime.”

– Larry Woody can be reached at lwoody@racintoday.com

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, March 18 2010