Where Are They Now? Sterling Marlin
March 5, 2017
Monday night we caught up with two-time Daytona 500 winner Sterling Marlin. He talked about what his life is like today, his best friends in the Cup garage, a ride he passed up in the mid 1980’s and more.
Keep It 35: What does a day in the life of Sterling consist of in 2017?
Sterling: We have about 200-210 head of cattle. We have a bunch of real estate, race cars. That’s about it for me. That’s my life. We just do it all really. We just like to have a good time out here, work a lot and go racing.
Keep It 35: What do you consider to be the biggest moments of your career?
Sterling: Winning my first race, the Daytona 500, was pretty neat. That was a pretty big day for us. It was by far my favorite win.
Keep It 35: Looking back at your career, is there anything that you would have done differently? Maybe you were offered a ride that you passed up or a move that you made during a race that you wish you would have done different?
Sterling: Yeah, back around 1985-1986 when I first started. The No. 28 car was open and talked to them a little bit about driving it, but I already had a contract with Hoss Ellington about driving his car. I ended up driving for Hoss because all the stuff was already done, but we had a bunch of good runs for him. We almost won a couple of them.
Keep It 35: With the way your career played out, it’s safe to say you made a right decision with the runs you had in the No. 4 and then with Ganassi later on.
Sterling: Yeah, we drove for a bunch of good race teams and had a great time along the way.
Keep It 35: Who were some of your best friends in the Winston Cup garage?
Sterling: Rusty Wallace, Schrader, Michael Waltrip. All those guys really.
Keep It 35: I’m sure you could tell funny stories for days on those guys, but could you share one about Michael Waltrip, since he just drove in his final race?
Sterling: Oh, Michael. He’s into something all the time! Whether it’s something about money or a joke, he’s just action all the time.
Keep It 35: Do you still follow NASCAR today?
Sterling: Not really. I didn’t even watch the race yesterday (The Daytona 500). We were up in Nashville testing for a race in a few weeks. We took a new car up there and it hauled ass. We were really fast, so we are going to run a lot up in Nashville and in Montgomery, Alabama this year.
Keep It 35: How many races you do you plan on entering this year?
Sterling: Probably about 14 or 15, somewhere along there. Maybe some others will pop up along the way.
Keep It 35: Have you attended any Cup races since you retired in 2009?
Sterling: I just tend to stay on the short track scene. I went to Talladega last year for Saturday’s race and then stayed for Sunday. I hate to say it but I get bored pretty quick. If I ain’t riding in one of them, I’m ready to go.
Keep It 35: What do you feel is the biggest difference between the days when you drove to racing today?
Sterling: Well, I think I came through about the right time. Rusty, Ricky Rudd, Dale Earnhardt, we all came through at the same time. Those days you could buy a car from a guy like Banjo Matthews, bring it home, hang a body on it. Tune the motor right there. Today, you have to be so close on all the different policies. It’s pretty much like a lot of guys say, it’s not as much fun anymore.
Keep It 35: If you were put in charge of NASCAR, what would be the first change that you would make?
Sterling: I’d bring back those old ’75 Monte Carlo’s. Pearson’s Purolator Mercury, Bobby Isaacs Dodge. Get some 427’s. I think they need to get back to the days where you could win with one on Sunday and go buy one at the dealership on Monday. It’s just a lot different now.
Keep It 35: There are so many fans and drivers on Twitter that love you. Have you ever thought about creating an account?
Sterling: I might do it. Is it good or bad? I could use it for some knowledge. I don’t know, me and my daughter might set it up this year.