Mike Skinner Battles from the Back to Finish Second at Kentucky; The Veteran Remains in the Third Position in the Championship Point Standings SPARTA, Ky. (July 20, 2009) -- The 12th race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at...
Mike Skinner Battles from the Back to Finish Second at Kentucky; The Veteran Remains in the Third Position in the Championship Point Standings
SPARTA, Ky. (July 20, 2009) -- The 12th race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Kentucky Speedway marked the one-year anniversary of Randy Moss Motorsports and veteran driver Mike Skinner looked to bring home another victory for the organization. Despite qualifying in the 19th position, Skinner steadily made his way through the field and with five laps to go, the No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota Tundra was in position to capture the checkered flag. Battling with Ron Hornaday, Skinner finished one truck length short of the win and posted a solid second-place finish. This was Skinner's fifth top-five finish of the 2009 season, his 85th top-five finish of his Truck Series career.
Starting from the back half of the field, Skinner knew he had his work cut out for him during the 150-lap race at the 1.5-mile speedway. Gradually working his way past fellow competitors, Skinner ran in 11th-place when the first caution of the night flew on lap 34. Crew chief Eric Phillips called the 1995 Truck Series Champion to pit road for four fresh tires on lap 35, followed by a stop for fuel the next lap. Skinner restarted from the 12th position on lap 42.
By lap 50, Skinner had broke into the top-10 positions and never looked back. A short 10 laps later, the Daytona Beach, Florida resident was running in fifth-place. As a long green-flag run forced all the competitors to come to pit road for service, Skinner returned to the attention of his pit crew on lap 99 for fuel only. As a caution slowed the field on lap 112, Phillips brought the No. 5 Toyota down pit road for four fresh tires.
The final 20 laps saw three caution flags, but the restart opportunities allowed Skinner to position himself to make a run for the win. On lap 130, the Exide Tundra was in seventh-place and within 10 laps, the veteran was in the fifth position. The final restart of the 225-mile event on lap 146 left Skinner with five laps to take the lead from Hornaday. Unfortunately, Skinner came up one lap short, as the No. 5 Toyota came home one truck length behind Hornaday, posting a second-place finish for the Tundra driver.
With the runner-up finish, Skinner remains in the third position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He currently sits 154 points behind leader Hornaday and only 58 points behind second-place Matt Crafton.
This Friday, July 24, Mike Skinner and the No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota Tundra team will head to the historic O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. The green flag will drop on the AAA Insurance 200 shortly after 8:00 P.M. Eastern. SPEED will have live coverage of the 200-lap event, starting at 7:30 P.M. Eastern. Select affiliates of MRN Radio and Sirius-XM NASCAR Radio Channel 128 will also have the live radio broadcast.
How was that finish?
"I don't wish bad luck on anybody but we didn't have a second-place truck. We had a good truck -- one more lap and we might have had a first-place truck. I really hate it for my teammate Tayler (Malsam), the 81 truck ran up front all night and that young man did a heck of a job. I hate it for Todd (Bodine) that he had an oil leak or something there. We finished second; we have to try to stay in the game."
Did where you started tonight's race from have an effect on your finish?
"Ronnie (Hornaday) did a good job. I think one more lap and we might have had him, might have been able to challenge him a little bit right there. Man I hate it for Tayler Malsam, he had a good truck tonight. Both the Randy Moss Motorsports trucks did a good job. We got stuck back there from qualifying and it kind of messed us up. I want to thank the fans. I want to thank Exide and PC Miler, who just came on board to support our efforts. I want to thank Toyota. Triad put a good body on this truck. I just hate it -- doggone it, we were close."
How do you grade your team so far in 2009?
"For the budget that we've had and the amount of people that we've had with the resources -- Toyota does an awesome job and these Triad engines -- man, they're just awesome. Eric Phillips and David Dollar (co-owner), they have done a heck of a lot with a little bit."