According to Sterling Marlin, driver of the No. 14 Waste Management Chevrolet, Las Vegas Motor Speedway isn't the same track it was when he picked up his ninth-career win there in 2002.  The speedway recently underwent dramatic track changes and is adjusting to new rules NASCAR will enforce for Sunday's UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 Nextel Cup race.

"It's like being at a whole different place," said Marlin, who visited Las Vegas with his Ginn Racing team for a two-day test session in January. "They've added a ton of banking, resurfaced the track and made teams go a whole lot faster.  It will be interesting to see how things shake out this weekend."

In addition to the physical changes to the track, NASCAR has mandated a smaller fuel-cell and a new tire compound for Sunday's race.  With so many changes slated for NASCAR's third event of the season, Marlin is predicting an exciting event and an unpredictable finish.
"When we tested in Vegas earlier this year it was incredibly fast -- some teams thought it was too fast," explained Marlin, the only driver to visit victory lane at Las Vegas who didn't drive for Roush Racing or Hendrick Motorsports. "But it's a lot of fun. It will be interesting to see how things work once there are 43 cars on the track running side-by-side and going that fast."
Marlin, who has earned 10 career Nextel Cup wins (the last was at Darlington, S.C., two weeks after he won at Las Vegas in 2002), has competed in each of the nine Cup events Las Vegas Motor Speedway has hosted, posting a string of top 10s in 2001 (3rd), 2002 (1st) and 2003 (8th).
Marlin continued, "We've had stronger performances this year than our results indicate. Our race cars have been good-- we just haven't gotten the finishes we deserve. A strong finish with our Waste Management Chevy would get us moving in the right direction and I know we're capable of it."

Last year at Las Vegas
Marlin started 31st, finished 36th. After fighting an ill-handling racecar throughout the event, Marlin looked to be closing in on a top-20 finish before the engine on his machine expired 12 laps short of the finish.