May 16, 2014, 11:29 AM EDT
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.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski