Memphis: Mike Skinner race report

Mike Skinner Rock 'n Rolls to a Sixth-Place Finish at Memphis The 1995 Truck Series Champion Gains One Position in the Championship Points Standings MILLINGTON, Tenn. (June 29, 2009) -- Dealing with extreme heat in the Memphis area, Mike ...

Mike Skinner Rock 'n Rolls to a Sixth-Place Finish at Memphis

The 1995 Truck Series Champion Gains One Position in the Championship Points Standings

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (June 29, 2009) -- Dealing with extreme heat in the Memphis area, Mike Skinner took to the track on Saturday afternoon, looking to capture the final Elvis trophy. Unfortunately, the Randy Moss Motorsports veteran came up short in the 11th race of the 2009 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season. The No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota Tundra consistently ran in the top-five all afternoon, but a final round of varying pit strategies pushed Skinner back to the sixth position, where he would end up finishing the 201-lap race. This sixth-place finish marked the eighth top-10 run for Skinner this season.

Tying his career-best qualifying effort at the 3/4-mile oval, Skinner rolled off in the third position, as the temperatures rocketed over the 100 degree mark. Skinner, knowing that it was too early in the race to be fighting hard for positions, dropped back to fourth-place by lap five. The 1995 Truck Series Champion reported to his crew chief, Eric Phillips, that his Toyota was "loose getting into the corner and tight in the center." As the second caution of the afternoon came out on lap 52, Skinner was running in the fourth position.

Phillips brought Skinner down pit road on lap 53 for four fresh tires, followed by a fuel stop the next lap. The field went back to green-flag racing on lap 58, as the No. 5 Exide Batteries Toyota was in third-place. By the halfway point of the race on lap 100, Skinner was still running in the third position and told his crew that he was still fighting a tight handling condition.

A caution on lap 110 allowed Skinner to make his final pit stop of the 150-mile event. The Daytona Beach, Florida resident brought his Toyota to the attention of his crew on lap 111 for four tires and returned to pit road the next lap for fuel. As fellow competitors played different pit strategies, Skinner restarted on lap 117 from the seventh position. Within five laps, the No. 5 Exide Batteries Tundra was running in sixth-place. Unable to pass any more trucks, Skinner finished in the sixth position, recording his fourth top-10 finish at Memphis Motorsports Park.

"We had a top-four, top-five Exide Batteries Toyota, but we were just racing there at the end and lost some ground," said Skinner. "It's frustrating when we are on a different field to the rest of those guys that run up front every week. But overall our day wasn't bad. We were able to bring home a sixth-place finish and Eric (Phillips, crew chief) and all my guys on this Randy Moss Motorsports team did a great job all day. We will take this and head to the next one in Kentucky."

With his solid run at the Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, Skinner gained one position to move into third-place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings. He currently sits 134 points behind leader and race winner Ron Hornaday Jr. and only 58 points behind second-place Matt Crafton.

Skinner and the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports Toyota Tundra team will take a well-deserved two week break, but will return to racing action at Kentucky Speedway on July 18, 2009 for the running of the Built Ford Tough 225 presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers.

-credit: rmm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Matt Crafton