Kentucky: Billy Ballow names Mike Skinner as driver

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 8, 2003) - Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner makes his return to the truck series this weekend as the driver of the No. 15 VOKAL Clothing Racing team. Team owner Billy Ballew named Skinner as the ...

MOORESVILLE, NC (July 8, 2003) - Former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion Mike Skinner makes his return to the truck series this weekend as the driver of the No. 15 VOKAL Clothing Racing team. Team owner Billy Ballew named Skinner as the replacement for Rich Bickle starting with Saturday's Built Ford Tough 225 at Kentucky Speedway. Skinner will drive for Billy Ballew Motorsports in the next two events to help the team examine all the competitive elements of its operation.

"Billy has asked me to come in and help evaluate his team for the next two events and I am available to help him do that at this time," Skinner said. "We plan to take a look at all the aspects of his operation and help the organization move forward. We will evaluate everything from the chassis to the engines to the team and even the driver. I am willing to do anything within my power to help Billy and crew chief Gary Showalter achieve their goals."

The VOKAL Racing team currently sits 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series owner's points standings. Ballew feels like he has to examine every feasible alternative in order to provide the best possible competitive combination for his sponsor and his team.

"We cannot sit here and spin our wheels," Ballew said. "I have the utmost respect for Rich Bickle as a person and as a driver. I am sure that all the problems we have experienced lately are not necessarily Rich's fault but I had to address the concerns we had. I looked at all the options we had available to help us get back on track competitively, and when you have the opportunity to bring in a former champion to help you then I think you have to capitalize on that opportunity. Mike Skinner is a talented driver with great instincts with these truck chassis. He will be a tremendous asset to our team and he will help us get where we need to be from a competitive standpoint."

Skinner's record in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is stellar. He has 16 wins, 15 poles, 32 top five finishes, 41 top ten finishes in only 50 starts. He captured the 1995 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series championship while driving for Richard Childress Racing. He has earned $1,082,780 in the series, and his last start in the truck series was at California Speedway in 1998 where finished in the 5th position.

"I love the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," Skinner said. "I still have a lot of friends in that garage area and I look forward to seeing them this weekend. Right now our plans are to run the next two races for Billy Ballew Motorsports in the VOKAL Clothing truck and if we get a chance to run a few more, then that would be great too."

The Built Ford Tough 225 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Kentucky Speedway is slated for Saturday July 12th at 8:00 pm ET. The race will be broadcast live nationally on the Speed Channel and MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rich Bickle , Mike Skinner
Teams Richard Childress Racing