Sonoma: Mike Skinner race report

RACE: No. 16 of 36--6-23-02--Sears Point Raceway Sonoma, Calif. Dodge/Save Mart 350--110 laps Sunday, June 23, 2002 Winston Cup Career starts for Skinner: 182 Qualified: 16th Finished: 12th Laps: 110/110 Points: 28th Sears Point Raceway best...

RACE: No. 16 of 36--6-23-02--Sears Point Raceway
Sonoma, Calif.
Dodge/Save Mart 350--110 laps
Sunday, June 23, 2002
Winston Cup Career starts for Skinner: 182
Qualified: 16th
Finished: 12th
Laps: 110/110
Points: 28th

Sears Point Raceway best start for Skinner--13th, 6-25-00
Sears Point Raceway best finish for Skinner--16th, 5-4-97

2002 Best Start--5th--Bristol (3-24-02)
2002 Best Finish-12th-Twice-Texas (4-8-02) and Sears Point (6-23-02)

Morgan-McClure is one of three teams (Hendrick, Roush) to win at both road courses (Sears Point and Watkins Glen) on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit.

The No. 4 Chevrolet Monte Carlo unloaded fast. After a good qualifying run on Friday, the team was pleased with both practices on Saturday.

The team now has four top-15 finishes at Sears Point in the last five races. A 2nd place finish on a road course is the best the team has placed since 1998 when they led 16 laps with driver Bobby Hamilton behind the wheel. (1998-2nd, 1999-11th, 2000-14th, 2002-12th)

Mike Skinner's finish of 12th on Sunday was his best in six career starts at the two-mile course.

While the Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo was running 13th, the team was forced to make an early pit stop on lap 28 when Skinner thought the car had run out of fuel.

Mike Skinner quotes:

"We had a good car. I have no idea why we finished 12th, because we were better than many other Chevrolets in the top-10. Someone hit us a couple of times. At the end of the race I hit the tire barriers and knocked the tow-in out on the car. I tried to keep the fenders on it.

"This is by far the best road course car I have ever driven. Larry helped spot during the race and did a tremendous job of helping me out. The pit crew continues to improve each week. These guys are doing a heck of a job.

"We will have a week off and prepare for Daytona. I know how important winning at that track is to this team. I would love to take home the trophy from the track that is practically in my backyard."

Chris Carrier quotes:

"This race was a building block for us. We came here and unloaded off the truck good. We qualified well and backed it up in practice. No crazy changes were made to the car. We didn't try to reinvent the wheel or anything this weekend. This team has shown that the equipment, engines and crew are competitive. Mike has shown he is competitive.

"Our pit crew has been doing an excellent job. The last few races have been real confidence boosters for them. We began the year with some really young guys who were thrown into a high stakes game each weekend. It was intimidating to them. These guys have worked hard at pit practices. They hang out together. They are more accustomed to each other now and realize what they can accomplish each week. Already, the improvement shown from the beginning of the year is huge. We're all growing together as a team and I think it shows. We are slowly taking the steps needed to get better. The last third of the season is really going to show that Morgan-McClure's pit crew will have much confidence and will be as competitive or more so than any of the other teams in our series. It will pay dividends.

"I wish I had made the call to take on two tires or gas and go on the final pit stop we made. Instead, I chose for us to put four fresh tires on the Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo. I think we could have easily had a top-5 finish. The driver is always going to ask for new tires, but it is our call in the pits to over-ride such a request sometimes. We'll learn from this."

Larry McClure quotes

"We stayed out of trouble all day. The pit crew had good stops. I think we show this team is still contention for wins. We've had a few opportunities this year for higher finishes than those that show on paper. We are getting there step by step."

-mmm-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Mike Skinner , Chris Carr