Earnhardt to start at Brickyard

Richard Childress had annouced that Dale Earnhardt will start the Brickyard 400 this Saturday. "I feel very fortunate," Earnhardt said. "It is a situation like this that makes one appreciate the high safety standards required by...

Richard Childress had annouced that Dale Earnhardt will start the Brickyard 400 this Saturday.

"I feel very fortunate," Earnhardt said. "It is a situation like this that makes one appreciate the high safety standards required by NASCAR. It also shows you what a great race car the guys at Richard Childress Racing built."

"After meeting with Dale, David (Smith) and Bobby (Hutchins) we decided that Dale will start the race and go to the first caution," Childress said. "Mike Skinner will be our relief driver, he was the unanimous choice by all of us. He knows our cars and setup, and we know his abilities." Skinner, 38, has competed in 12 Winston Cup Series events. His best finish was in the GM Goodwrench 400 in February when he finished 12th. Next year he will drive a second team for RCR alongside Earnhardt. "My goal is to be consistent and keep the GM Goodwrench team in the points race," Skinner said. "It is an honor to relief drive for the biggest name in the sport. I might be able to fill the seat but I'll never be able to fill the shoes."

The plan for this week also includes Skinner driving the car for Wednesday's opening practice and again on Friday for the final practice session.

Earnhardt will qualify the car on Thursday as he keeps his focus on the 1996 Winston Cup Series championship. "Dale didn't even want to stay in the hospital last night but he was convinced by his wife Teresa to stay for observation," said David Allen, spokesperson for Earnhardt's Champion Sports Group. "He wanted to come back to his shop and meet with the guys and discuss what they are going to do for the next race. He's very focused, he wants to stay in the points race."

Jack Durbin indy500@freenet.tlh.fl.us Motorsport News International jackd@motorsport.com (Moderators for "rec.autos.sport.info") Homepage http://www.freenet.tlh.fl.us/users/indy500/index.html

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mike Skinner