FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 4, 2007) - Mike Skinner, who took the lead in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings Friday night, was once again behind the wheel of the No. 36 Bill Davis Racing Toyota this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
FORT WORTH, Texas (Nov. 4, 2007) - Mike Skinner, who took the lead in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings Friday night, was once again behind the wheel of the No. 36 Bill Davis Racing Toyota this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. Skinner and crew chief Richard "Slugger" Labbe worked through handling issues throughout the Dickies 500, and when the checkered flag waved, Skinner held 24th place.
Sitting outside the top 35 in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series owners' points standings, Skinner and the No. 36 team were forced to make the field for Sunday's event based on speed. Skinner was the ninth of 48 competitors scheduled to take to track for his qualifying run. His speed of 191.381 mph around the 1.5-mile track earned him the 14th spot on the starting grid.
The green flag waved for the start of the event Sunday, and Skinner communicated to his crew that the handling of the car was loose entering the corners. A caution on lap 16 enabled the team to make air pressure and chassis adjustments to the No. 36 Camry before sending Skinner back to the track in 21st place for the lap 19 restart. Skinner hovered inside the top 20 until the handling of the car became much too tight. At the 100 lap mark, Skinner's Toyota was running 34th.
Labbe and Skinner worked together all day to adjust on the handling of the car, which by the second half of the event had gone back loose. The patient Skinner broke back into the top 25 with just over 50 laps to go and never looked back. By the time the checkered flag waved over the Texas track, Skinner had raced solidly into the 24th position.
With only two races left on the schedule, the NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Phoenix International Raceway next weekend for the Checker Auto Parts 500. Johnny Benson will make his debut behind the wheel of the No. 36 car in that event. Qualifying will be held Friday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon's race is scheduled for a 3:35 p.m. ET start. The race will be broadcast on ABC television, MRN Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.