Multi-car wreck spoils Skinner's debut with U.S. Army Team SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug. 3, 2003) - In his maiden ride with the United States Army NASCAR Team, Mike Skinner saw a good day turn bad as he got collected in a multi-car wreck with 15 laps ...
Multi-car wreck spoils Skinner's debut with U.S. Army Team
SPEEDWAY, Ind. (Aug. 3, 2003) - In his maiden ride with the United States Army NASCAR Team, Mike Skinner saw a good day turn bad as he got collected in a multi-car wreck with 15 laps remaining in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The backstretch incident happened on a restart while cars were jockeying for position. At the time of the accident, Skinner was running in the 15th position. When the race was completed, he was credited with a 35th place finish.
"Our U.S. Army Pontiac was real good on the short runs and we were looking at a top-15 finish or better," said Skinner, who picked up five bonus points for leading a lap (107). "I already passed four or five cars after the restart and then it all happened. I saw a lot of smoke and lot of 3,400 pound shrapnel flying all over. A bunch of cars got together and I thought I had it missed, but one car came off the wall and plowed into us. It was an unfortunate deal."
Skinner brought the black and gold Army car into the pits, took two front tires and went back on the course while the race was still under caution. The damage - right suspension - was too severe to continue, forcing Skinner to retire from the race on lap 146 of the 160-lap event.
"Whenever you have a restart, especially late in the race, this (multi-car wrecks) can always happen," said Skinner, who is subbing for the recovering Jerry Nadeau. "I really hate what happened for this Army team. My next race with the team will be in Michigan (Aug. 17) and hopefully we'll get it back there. I'll be pulling for them next week when Boris Said drives the car at the Watkins Glen road course."
Crew chief Ryan Pemberton was equally disappointed with the end result, but was also encouraged with the performance.
"It was a tough break for all of us," said Pemberton. "Mike did a good job -- he pushed it all day. Considering the lack of time and practice we had together, I thought we got off to a good start. I look forward to going to Michigan with Mike. I feel good about the situation."
For the record, this was the fourth time in the last five races the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac got collected in a multi-car accident.