Longtime NASCAR driver Sterling Marlin will celebrate his 57th birthday three weeks early by – what else – going racing.
The Columbia, Tenn., native’s birthday is June 30. He’ll get the party started on June 7 and 8 when he takes part in the Howie Lettow 150 ARCA race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Marlin retired from Sprint Cup racing after the 2009 season. He made his first start at the age of 19 in 1976 and in 748 career starts compiled 10 wins (including back-to-back triumphs in the 1994 and 1995 Daytona 500), 83 top-five and 216 top-10 finishes.
His last Cup win came at Darlington early in the 2002 season. Ironically, that same season wound up being one of the best of his Cup career, only to have it cut short when he suffered a serious neck injury in a wreck at Kansas, causing him to miss the final seven races and costing him the best chance he ever had at a Cup championship.
Since leaving the Cup series, Marlin has made a few select starts in sportsman races in and around Nashville.
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Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”