MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 15, 2003) -- Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports, says he speaks for the entire organization when applauding Mike Skinner for his role as the team's substitute driver of the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac. Skinner, who...
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 15, 2003) -- Jay Frye, general manager of MB2 Motorsports, says he speaks for the entire organization when applauding Mike Skinner for his role as the team's substitute driver of the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac.
Skinner, who joined MB2 in early August to sub for the injured Jerry Nadeau, will complete his schedule with the team at Sunday's Subway 500 here at Martinsville Speedway.
"In a short time, Mike gave this team a much needed lift and we are grateful for his contributions," said Frye. "He is very good at what he does and you always know he is going to give you everything he has with his workmanlike approach to the sport. He is a true professional.
"Mike's positive attitude is contagious and he is definitely thought of in the highest regard at MB2 Motorsports. We sincerely wish Mike and his wife Angela all of the best in their upcoming racing endeavors."
Skinner's first race with the U.S. Army team was Aug. 3 -- the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. He did not compete in the Watkins Glen road race the following weekend, but has been in the 01 car ever since.
In the 10 races he has driven for MB2, Skinner qualified in the top 10 four times. He captured the pole in Richmond and was on the outside pole in Kansas. He also qualified fourth at Bristol and 10th at Charlotte.
Skinner had strong performances on the track -- leading races in Indianapolis, Bristol, Kansas and Charlotte. Though his overall finishing efforts were stymied by the whammy of bad luck that plagued the 01 team in 2003, Skinner always remained positive, even through some of the toughest times.
"Mike has many great qualities," said 01 crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "And one of his greatest qualities is always being positive and looking to make things better.
"He is a savvy racecar driver and it has been a pleasure working with him. He made it easy to establish that all-important team chemistry. I personally appreciate all of the extra effort he put into this race team. He is an outstanding professional."
When told of how much the team appreciated his services, Skinner responded by showing his admiration and gratitude.
"It's going to be tough, knowing this is the last race with this group," said Skinner. "I really like the guys -- we established a special rapport in a short time. It would be great to go out with a good result, but no matter what happens it will be positive.
"I really feel this was good for both of us -- I think I put life into the race team and I know they put life back into me. It's been a great relationship and it was also a wonderful experience to be associated with the U.S. Army and USG Sheetrock Brand.
"I want to personally thank Jay (Frye), Ryan (Pemberton), Jerry (Nadeau) and the MB2 team owners. If it weren't for their support I would not have had this opportunity."
Regarding his future, Skinner said, "I'll be racing and the choice that Angie and I have made is a good one. An announcement will be forthcoming."
Note: Joe Nemechek, who was recently named to drive the 01 U.S. Army Pontiac in 2004, will also drive the car at the final four races of the current season, beginning in Atlanta next week.