The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

NASCAR Winston Cup Bud at Watkins Glen Preview: #31, Mike Skinner

7 August 1997

 #31 Mike Skinner, Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo 
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 The Bud at the Glen Advance
 Watkins Glen International

WATKINS GLEN, NY - In finishing ninth in the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis 
Motor Speedway, Skinner earned the biggest check of his NASCAR career -- 
$132,560. "I really wanted that top 10," said Skinner. "That last lap was 
pretty wild. Cars were going everywhere. I was driving on the grass and 
dodging people left and right to get as many positions as I could. We had a 
great car."

 - Skinner, who was running fourth when the fifth caution flag came out with 
14 laps left in the 400, believes "we could have gotten our first top-five if 
the race had been a few laps longer. We had to change left side tires on our 
last stop and most guys just took on gas. That dropped us to 15th. We had to 
change left sides as we had run a long time on them. We just didn't have 
enough laps to get back to where we were," says Skinner. There were only nine 
laps left when the green flag came out following the fifth caution. And there 
were only three laps left of green flag racing following the sixth yellow 
flag. "We had a great car. We just ran out of time. A top-five at Indy would 
have been something."

 - Skinner led eight laps late in the Brickyard 400, laps 115-122. This was 
the seventh race that Skinner had led during his rookie season.

 - Two straight top-10s have boosted Skinner to 25th place in the NASCAR 
Winston Cup points standings. He stood 29th following the Jiffy Lube 300 at 
New Hampshire International Speedway. Skinner had his career-best finish a 
week later at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway when he finished sixth.

 - Although Skinner has never run a Winston Cup car at Watkins Glen 
International, he believes a third straight top-10 is a distinct possibility. 
"We had a real good run in the truck race up there last year, and I know RCR 
(Richard Childress Racing) will give me a great car," says Skinner. "The 
trucks and the Cup cars are a lot alike, weight-wise and horsepower-wise. So 
I feel pretty good about how we are going to do."

 - In the truck race at Watkins Glen last year, Skinner led the first 20 laps 
before finishing third behind Ron Hornaday and Joe Nemechek.

 - Skinner has been the top finishing rookie in three straight races and in 
12 of the 19 races so far this season. In the rookie point race, Skinner 
holds a 39-point lead with 12 races to go. He has earned 184 rookie points 
compared to 155 for David Green, 142 for Robby Gordon and 73 for Jeff Green. 
"I really want to win the rookie title for RCR, Chevrolet and Lowe's," says 
Skinner. "But I want to win a race even more. I know the odds may be against 
us as a rookie driver and team, but we kept saying we would be a lot better 
during the second half and that has been the case. All of us on the Lowe's 
team believe we can win a race before the year is over."

 - The late Davey Allison was the last driver to win a race during his rookie 
season -- 10 years ago. Allison won two races in his first full year of 
NASCAR Winston Cup racing.

By Sports Marketing Enterprises