Coo Coo Marlin
|Clifton "Coo Coo" Marlin|
Coo Coo Marlin
January 3, 1932|
|Died||August 14, 2005(aged 73)|
|Cause of death||Lung Cancer|
|NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career|
|165 race(s) run over 14 year(s)|
|Best finish||20th - 1975 Winston Cup Series season|
|First race||1966 Nashville 400 (Nashville)|
|Last race||1980 Talladega 500 (Talladega)|
Local track history
Marlin earned a name for himself at the short tracks in Tennessee and Alabama, running against Red Farmer, Bobby Allison, and Donnie Allison. He was a four-time track champion at Nashville Speedway USA (now Music City Motorplex).
Coo Coo was a speedway favorite with a lot of kids during the 1960s. He drove a fire-engine red 1964 Chevy Impala, #711, and was the first real "hero" to many youngsters. During this time, he and his racing "nemesis," Charlie Binkley #125, continuously thrilled audiences with their often nail-biting finishes. Coo Coo was always available for photos and autographs in the pits after a race. His brother, Jack Marlin, was also a crowd favorite.
Grand National and Winston Cup career
Marlin advanced to part-time rides on the NASCAR Grand National circuit, starting with one race in 1966 and three in 1967. Coo Coo ran more of the schedule as the series changed from Grand National to Winston Cup, but he never competed in more than 23 races in any season. He never won a race in his 165 Winston Cup starts from 1966 to 1980, but he had nine Top 5 and 51 Top 10 finishes, with many of those starts in a car numbered 14. However, in 1973, Marlin won a non points race, with one of the Duel races at Daytona that year.
Marlin died in his hometown of Columbia, Tennessee on August 14, 2005 of lung cancer at the age of 73.
Son's use of number 14 as memorial
Shortly after his death, his son Sterling was in negotiations with MB2 Motorsports to drive the team's second car for 2006. The team was unable to retain the #10 (which was to be used by Evernham Motorsports for 2006), so MB2 was looking for a new number. A still-grieving Sterling found the #14 available (A.J. Foyt's defunct team had been the last to use it) and had MB2 request the #14, which was granted. It was run to honor his father during his year and a half with the team until his unexpected release from Ginn Racing mid-way through the 2007 season, after the team merged with Dale Earnhardt, Inc. The #14 is now run by Tony Stewart, who chose the number for his own race team in honor of Foyt, a childhood hero of his.
- Coo Coo Marlin page of Racing-reference website , retrieved May 21, 2007.