Mike Skinner added to Shootout 2004 field

Mike Skinner tosses his name into Budweiser Shootout field DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Sept. 10, 2003) -- Mike Skinner hasn't firmed up his plans for the 2004 racing season, but one thing he does know for sure about next year is that he has a starting...

Mike Skinner tosses his name into Budweiser Shootout field

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Sept. 10, 2003) -- Mike Skinner hasn't firmed up his plans for the 2004 racing season, but one thing he does know for sure about next year is that he has a starting spot in the Budweiser Shootout on Feb. 7 at historic Daytona International Speedway.

Skinner, driving the No. 01 Army Pontiac for the injured Jerry Nadeau, won the Bud Pole for last weekend's Chevy Rock & Roll 400, lapping Richmond International Raceway in 21.464 seconds at 125.792 mph.

While it's Skinner's sixth Bud Pole in 222 NASCAR Winston Cup races, it's the second Bud Pole of the season for the No. 01 Pontiac fielded by MB2 Motorsports. In June, road racing ace Boris Said captured the Bud Pole at Sonoma, Calif., in the No. 01 car.

The starting berths in the 2004 Budweiser Shootout belong to the driver. Skinner is not sure what car he'll be driving in the nighttime non-points All-Star race that serves as the kickoff to the 2004 season.

"Right now, it's up in the air," Skinner said. "My first choice is that (we won the pole) as a group at MB2 Racing. I know they're going to have Boris in a car. The only thing that would really through a wrench in the chain is that if (teammate) Johnny (Benson) gets a pole. If Johnny doesn't get a pole, then it's doable because they have two race teams over there. They could have the 10 team (Benson's team) build one of the cars and have the 01 team build the other car."

If Skinner weren't able to land a full-time Winston Cup ride next year, his other scenario would be to try to package a ride together for both the Budweiser Shootout and the "Great American Race" - the Daytona 500.

"My fantasy is I want to get a ride out of this for the Daytona 500," said Skinner, who has won both a Budweiser Shootout qualifying race and a Gatorade 125 at the "World Center of Racing." "If we run the Budweiser Shootout, I would really love to run somebody's second car or put an effort together to do the Shootout but also do (the 500).

"I'm a pretty descent restrictor-plate racer. We've had success at Daytona and Talladega. Those are good race tracks for me. I would really like to put an effort together and run the 500."

The Budweiser Shootout, a non-points race that will serve as the kickoff to the 2004 season, will be held under the lights Saturday night, Feb 7 as a part of Speedweeks 2004.

Skinner becomes the 21st driver to qualify for the Budweiser Shootout. Drivers that have already secured spots by winning poles this season include Jeff Green, Dave Blaney, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, Elliott Sadler, Jeremy Mayfield, Jeff Gordon, Terry Labonte, Steve Park, Jimmie Johnson, Boris Said, Tony Stewart and Kevin Harvick.

Past winners already in the field are Dale Earnhardt Jr., Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott, Dale Jarrett and Geoff Bodine.

The 2004 Budweiser Shootout field now stands at 21 drivers. The record for most cars appearing in the Budweiser Shootout was set in 2002 with 22 drivers.

Daytona International Speedway has tickets available for Speedweeks 2004 events online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

Current Field For 2004 Budweiser Shootout

2003 Bud Pole Winners
Jeff Green, TBA
Dave Blaney, No. 77 Jasper Ford
Bobby Labonte, No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet
Ryan Newman, No. 12 Alltel Dodge
Elliott Sadler, No. 38 M & M's Ford
Jeremy Mayfield, No. 19 Dodge Dealers Dodge
Jeff Gordon, No 24 DuPont Automotive Finishes Chevrolet
Steve Park, No. 30 AOL Chevrolet
Terry Labonte, No. 5 Kellogg's Chevrolet
Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Lowe's Home Improvement Chevrolet
Boris Said, No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac
Tony Stewart, No. 20 The Home Depot Chevrolet
Kevin Harvick, No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet
Mike Skinner, No. 01 US Army Pontiac

Past Budweiser Shootout Champions
Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet
Mark Martin, No. 6 Viagra Ford
Rusty Wallace, No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge
Ken Schrader, No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge
Bill Elliott, No. 9 Dodge
Dale Jarrett, No. 88 UPS Ford
Geoff Bodine, TBA

-dis-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Bill Elliott , Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Bobby Labonte , Terry Labonte , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Steve Park , Mike Skinner , Ken Schrader , Boris Said , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green , Jerry Nadeau , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Elliott Sadler , Dave Blaney , Mark Martin