Charlotte II: Mike Skinner preview

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2003) -- Amid all of the talk about how some cars get better fuel mileage than others, United States Army driver Mike Skinner says there is no controversy and his only concern right now is to have a mistake-free race in ...

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2003) -- Amid all of the talk about how some cars get better fuel mileage than others, United States Army driver Mike Skinner says there is no controversy and his only concern right now is to have a mistake-free race in Saturday night's (Oct. 11) UAW-GM Quality 500 here at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

"I really don't have time to analyze if other teams are playing by the rule book or not," said Skinner. "From where I stand, I feel NASCAR does a good job in policing the fuel systems in the car and the teams that are getting better fuel mileage are doing their homework a little better. Simple as that -- end of story."

What Skinner and crew chief Ryan Pemberton are more focused on is how to avoid the crushing blows that have plagued the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac team at recent races.

"The last four or five races have sure been a test of character for us," said Skinner, who has qualified in the top 5 three times since joining the Army team in early August. "We've been called for exceeding the pit road speed limit, flat-spotted tires, suffered engine failure, hit the wall, got collected in wrecks -- you name it -- it has happened to us.

"What is so unfortunate is that we've had a competitive racecar during this period but have not been able to maximize its potential because of all of the bad breaks that came our way. We just need to have an error-free weekend in Charlotte. And if we can do that, I will guarantee a good result."

J Skinner's optimism is not only based on the quality of the Army of One team, but also his liking for Lowe's Motor Speedway and the past results he achieved there. He has competed on the 1.5-mile oval 12 times in a Winston Cup car and has posted three top-10 finishes, including a third-place result at the 1999 fall race.

"It's a track that I seem to get around pretty well at," commented Skinner. "I have run strong there when I had good equipment and that's why I am excited about going there in the U.S. Army Pontiac. I know it will be good and hopefully this will be our weekend when we put it all together."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner