Bristol II: Mike Skinner race report

BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 23, 2003) - Mike Skinner was running up front for the first half of Saturday night's Sharpie 500, but handling problems set in during the second half, resulting in an 18th place finish for the U.S. Army team at Bristol Motor...

BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 23, 2003) - Mike Skinner was running up front for the first half of Saturday night's Sharpie 500, but handling problems set in during the second half, resulting in an 18th place finish for the U.S. Army team at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Skinner, who started fourth with an impressive qualifying effort Friday, not only ran in the top five for the majority of the first 250 laps, but also drove the black and gold Army car into the lead from lap 188-192.

"We took advantage of our track position in the beginning, but we never had the right balance," said Skinner, who made his third appearance driving the U. S. Army Pontiac. "The car was tight in the center of the corner and loose leaving the corner. At times I had to manhandle the car. I'm not happy with the finish, but I guess it beats the alternative."

When Skinner talked about the "alternative", he was referring to the numerous wrecks on the .533-mile oval that produced a record number of cautions (20 for 119 laps).

"I guess it's a consolation when you're not involved in a wreck and finish on the lead lap at Bristol," said Skinner, who is subbing for the injured Jerry Nadeau.

In post-race interviews Skinner was quick to point out the performance of the U.S. Army team.

"Everyone did a great job tonight," commented Skinner. "The pit crew was once again awesome, Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton) called another great race and Roman (spotter Roman Pemberton) was outstanding. We've only been together for three races, but we have a spirit and it will even get better."

The next NASCAR Winston Cup race will be at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway - Sunday, Aug. 31 - for the Southern 500.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner , Jerry Nadeau