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Marlin: Renshaw Needs to Refocus

October 17, 2002

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Sterling Marlin knows what Deborah Renshaw is going through, and says she needs to forget about her crash that killed another driver.

Marlin was involved in a crash at Daytona International Speedway last year that killed seven-time NASCAR champion Dale Earnhardt. Many fans blamed Marlin for the wreck, and he received some death threats.

Now, the 25-year-old Renshaw is being blamed by some for the crash Oct. 9 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway that killed ARCA driver Eric Martin.

``It’s pretty rough,″ Marlin told The Tennessean newspaper on Tuesday. ``I know how she feels.

``This is something that will go with her for the rest of her life. But she has to put it out of her mind if she’s going to keep racing.″

Dan Renshaw, Deborah’s father, said his daughter has received some hate mail since the crash.

``I’d say that 99 percent of the mail has been very positive and supportive, but there has been a little of the other stuff, too,″ he said. ``She’s dealing with it pretty well. She’s been through it before.″

Renshaw, set to move up to NASCAR’s Busch series next season, was practicing for the ARCA race she broadsided the disabled car of Martin, instantly killing the 33-year-old driver.

Witnesses have said Martin wrecked at least 15 seconds before Renshaw hit him. She sustained a broken foot and other injuries.

Renshaw has had a very difficult season. In July, drivers plotted to get her disqualified at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, and a car was entered solely to finish behind to facilitate a protest.

A minor violation was found, and Renshaw lost her sixth-place finish and her points, effectively ending her quest to win the season title at a short track that sent such drivers as Marlin and three-time Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip to NASCAR.

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