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 Series ACDelco 400 Preview: #31, Mike Skinner

22 October 1997

 #31 Mike Skinner, Lowe's Chevrolet Monte Carlo
 NASCAR Winston Cup Series
 ACDelco 400 Advance
 North Carolina Motor Speedway
ROCKINGHAM, NC - Mike Skinner competed in the DieHard 500 at Talladega 
Superspeedway with fractured ribs, although he didn't know it at the time. 
"I knew they were real sore, and they didn't feel too good," said Skinner. 
"But I didn't find out that two were fractured (on his left side) and 
another one was separated from where it's supposed to be until I went to 
the doctor on Monday (Oct. 13). 

 - Skinner suffered the fractured ribs in an accident at Charlotte Motor 
Speedway on Oct. 3 when he slammed into the wall during a multi-car accident 
during the qualifying race for the NASCAR Busch Series event on Saturday, 
Oct. 4. 

 - Skinner was involved in the 23-car melee at Talladega, but he doesn't 
think his accident had any bearing on his injury. "I was already hurting 
pretty good, and I had my ribs worked on both Saturday and Sunday morning at 
Talladega," said Skinner. "The physical therapist who worked on me Sunday 
told me I needed to go to the doctor. She could tell that the ribs were more 
than just bruised."

 - Skinner says he's glad there was a week off before the NASCAR Winston Cup 
Series resumes at North Carolina Motor Speedway on Oct. 26. "I'll be all 
right for Rockingham, but I need the time off to heal," said Skinner.

 - The rookie driver is still quite dejected as he looks back on the 
Talladega race. "I really think we had the best car there, says Skinner. 
"With 20 laps to go, we were going to the front. We really had a great car. 
They told me to follow Dale Jarrett -- that I'd learn a lot. And that's what 
I was doing. But I was a lot faster than he was. I was having to back off in 
the corners. I can't believe our luck. We just can't seem to catch a break. I 
don't know what we've got to do to get this gorilla off our back."

 - Skinner led once for one lap at Talladega, the eighth race he has led this 
season. "With all that two- and three-wide and sometimes four-wide racing, we 
got kicked back in the pack a couple of times. But each time, we were able to 
get back up front. I really had a stout engine."

 - Skinner believes that the team "can still finish this year on a high note 
if we can catch a break or tow. And we certainly deserve one as our luck has 
been about as bad as it can get lately. At Rockingham this spring, during the 
last half of the race, we ran pretty well. If we can pick up where we left 
off, we can have a good day -- if lady luck will smile on us."

 - With three races to go in the 1997 NASCAR Winston Cup season, Skinner 
leads the race for the Rookie of the Year Award by a comfortable 33 points. 
He has earned 214 rookie points compared to 181 for Robby Gordon and 180 for 
David Green. Jeff Green, David's younger brother, is fourth with 159 points.

By Sports Marketing Enterprises