Iowa: Mike Skinner race report

MIKE SKINNER SCORES SECOND VICTORY OF THE SEASON FOR NO. 5 RANDY MOSS MOTORSPORTS TEAM AT IOWA SPEEDWAY NEWTON, IOWA (September 6, 2009) -- Mike Skinner and the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports team dominated the inaugural NASCAR Camping World ...

MIKE SKINNER SCORES SECOND VICTORY OF THE SEASON FOR NO. 5 RANDY MOSS MOTORSPORTS TEAM AT IOWA SPEEDWAY

NEWTON, IOWA (September 6, 2009) -- Mike Skinner and the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports team dominated the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Iowa Speedway, starting from the pole, leading all but 20 laps and crossing the finish line ahead of all of their competitors to score their second win of the 2009 season.

Because the NCWTS had never been to Iowa Speedway, teams were given several practice sessions Friday to become acclimated to the track. On Saturday, the No. 5 Toyota of Des Moines Toyota Tundra was the 25th of 39 trucks to take to the track for qualifying. Skinner, who had posted the quickest time in the final practice session Friday, posted a speed of 137.052 miles per hour on the first lap of his two-lap run around the .875-mile oval, earning the team its first pole position of the 2009 truck series campaign and the 48th of Skinner's career.

Skinner took the green flag for the start of the 200-lap event and a couple of quick caution flags within the first 10 laps slowed the field early in the Lucas Oil 200. The veteran driver, who had lost the lead at the start of the race, found his chance to get the lead back on lap 18 as he powered around the No. 88 truck driven by Matt Crafton. The third yellow flag of the night flew on lap 58 and crew chief Eric Phillips made the decision to bring his driver down pit road to the attention of the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports crew. Skinner informed Phillips that the handling of the truck had started off a bit loose in the corners, but had become tight as the run wore on. Phillips hoped a slight air pressure adjustment to the Goodyear tires would remedy that situation and after changing all four tires and filling the truck with fuel, the team sent Skinner back on the track for the lap 64 restart at the front of the field once again.

Skinner remained at the front of the pack and racked up almost a three-second lead over second place before another caution flag slowed the field on lap 114. Phillips called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment and the crew did their jobs with perfection. Skinner took the green flag for the restart behind the No. 15 truck, which had taken on only two fresh tires during its stop. Skinner, the 1995 Truck Series champion made quick work of getting around that machine and retook the lead that same lap.

Skinner drove the Toyota of Des Moines Toyota Tundra away from the rest of the field, and with only 10 laps remaining in the event had built up a five-second lead. Unfortunately, debris on the track forced NASCAR officials to throw the yellow flag with eight laps to go, negating the team's substantial cushion. Knowing he had the truck to beat, Skinner wasn't worried. When the green flag flew for the final time on lap 197, Skinner eased the No. 5 truck around the track for the final laps and scored the team's second victory of the season. It was the 27th of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career.

"I tell you, all I did tonight was ride on a thoroughbred," Skinner said following the race. "I think I hurt Eric's feelings a little bit yesterday because we took an old backup truck that our teammate gave us that Jeff Hensley and I actually built a couple of years ago and it was faster than this truck. I was struggling to not keep that truck out and race it. And Eric said, 'Just work with me. Just give me a chance and I'll fix this thing and get it going.' He went in there and he started building shocks and he really, really won this race. The driver screwed up on pit road but the crew chief did a fantastic job with the truck. Man, it drove good. All of the adjustments and everything was just really, really good. We struggled on pit road this year a lot and tonight they were flawless."

Scoring his 11th top-10 finish of the year, Skinner was able to maintain his third-place position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver point standings. He now stands 281 points behind series leader Ron Hornaday and only 56 markers out of second place.

Mike Skinner and the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports team will return to action at Gateway International Raceway on Saturday, September 12.

-credit: rmm

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Matt Crafton