DASH: Mike Skinner tutors son Dustin at Daytona test

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 24, 2004) -- There's a new Skinner on the racing scene. On Saturday, Dustin Skinner, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Skinner, turned his first laps at historic Daytona International ...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Jan. 24, 2004) -- There's a new Skinner on the racing scene.

On Saturday, Dustin Skinner, the 18-year-old son of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Mike Skinner, turned his first laps at historic Daytona International Speedway during testing for the IPOWER DASH 150 race on Sunday, Feb. 8.

Dustin Skinner, who has been racing for about five months at nearby New Smyrna Speedway as well as running a Fast Truck, tested a Toyota owned by David Watson. His dad Mike Skinner, who had sat on the pole for the Daytona 500 as well as posting victories in a Gatorade 125 and Budweiser Shootout Qualifier, was on the radio to his son during the test.

"It's a pleasure," Dustin Skinner said about working with his dad. "I'm thankful to have him here to help me. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him. I'm just thankful for it and hope he can help me out some more.

"This is my first time here and this is a big step from what I've been in. I'm real excited about it and I hope to do good."

Dustin Skinner says he wants "to take after his dad" and compete in racing.

"I just like racing and I like to go fast," Skinner said.

Mike Skinner, who'll drive a Toyota Tundra for Bang Racing in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series beginning with the Feb. 13 Florida Dodge Dealers 250, is both nervous and excited about working with his son at the race track.

"I told (wife) Angie to bring me some chewing gum and some Advil," said Skinner, who calls Daytona Beach his home. "It's giving me a headache. I was way more nervous then he was. He ran through one set of corners and then stuck the thing on the floor and it's been on the floor since."

Dustin Skinner's first laps at the "World Center of Racing" mirror his father's first laps at the famed 2.5-mile tri-oval.

Mike Skinner first came to Daytona International Speedway in 1992 driving for owner Thee Dixon with hopes of making the Daytona 500. He failed to qualify for the "Great American Race" but did catch the attention of car owner Richard Childress, who hired Skinner to compete in the Craftsman Truck and NEXTEL Cup Series.

Mike Skinner is hoping for the same kind of scenario for his son Dustin in the IPOWER DASH 150 on Sunday, Feb. 8.

"If Dustin shows some smarts, some brains, some talent, some patience, you never know," Mike Skinner said. "A lot of those Cup guys will be here, all the Busch guys will be here, all the Truck guys will be here. They'll get to watch him race. You've got to catch the eye of somebody to ever expect to make it."

New era in Dash:

The IPOWERacing DASH Series (International Participants of Winning Edge Racing) is returning to the "World Center of Racing" for the 26th straight year on Sunday, Feb. 8 with the season-opening IPOWER DASH 150. The 2004 season will mark the 30th year of competition for the DASH Series and the first year under the new ownership. Buck Parker and Randy Claypoole, both of Daytona Beach, Fla., took over ownership of the DASH Series following the last race of the 2003 season.

The series will unveil a new look at Daytona. Instead of car numbers, high-definition graphics, paint schemes and car names will be the primary method of identifying the fast machines.

The IPOWERacing DASH Series will also sport some familiar racing names including Jake and Justin Hobgood, Brandon Ward, Doc Brewer, Randy Humphrey and Mickey York, who has competed in every IPOWER DASH 150 race at Daytona.

"We really haven't pin pointed a name yet," said Jake Hobgood. "We'll just have to wait and see. I'm leaving that up to higher people than me."

"I think they have some good ideas," said Ward, who'll be wheeling the No. 37 Toyota nicknamed "Blade." "I'm looking forward to seeing them get this deal kicked off at Daytona. It's good to be able to come back for Speedweeks. We were thinking maybe last year would be the last year for this series. It's exciting to come back and see the new look with the cars.

"To win the first (IPOWERacing DASH) race and just to win at Daytona would definitely be a good deal."

The IPOWER DASH 150 is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 8 following Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500.

Speedweeks 2004 tickets, including the Bud Pole Qualifying for the Daytona 500 and the IPOWER DASH 150, are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.

-dis-

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Series Stock car
Drivers Mike Skinner , Justin Hobgood