Skinner's day ends early in Dover DOVER, Del. (Sept. 21, 2003) -- An engine failure nearthe midway point of Sunday's MBNA 400 forced Mike Skinner to retire from the race, resulting in a 41st-place finish for the U.S. Army driver. The engine ...
Skinner's day ends early in Dover
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 21, 2003) -- An engine failure nearthe midway point of Sunday's MBNA 400 forced Mike Skinner to retire from the race, resulting in a 41st-place finish for the U.S. Army driver.
The engine glitch wasn't the only problem that Skinner was confronted with on Dover International Speedway's Monster Mile. He was involved in an accident on the second lap, causing aerodynamicdamage to the right fender of his No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac Grand Prix.
"It was a tough day all around," said Skinner, who is subbing for the injured Jerry Nadeau. "On the second lap I made a run at a car and in hindsightI probablyshouldn't have stuck the nose in there. I blame myself, but I also blame the driver for coming down on us. Hisspotter should have let himknow that I was there."
"I came away unscathed after spinning. But immediately afterwards, something happened to another car, and as it slid down the track I ran into it. Because of the damage to the right front, we really had a tough time with our downforce. The harder I drove the car, the worse it was -- it just wouldn't stick."
The problems compounded for Skinner. On lap 197 he radioed the crew and said, "The car is slowing down and it feels like the engine is ready to let go."
He drove the car to the garage where it was determined the engine problem could not be repaired at the track.
"It's a bummer, but I really would have been devastated if we were leading the race and the engine broke," said Skinner. "I'm glad I drove the car to the garage when I did. Thelast thing I wanted to do wasspill oil all over the track. I guess it wasn't our day."
Skinner and the U.S. Army team are hoping to have a better day at next Sunday's 500-mile restrictor plate race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.