Joliet: Mike Skinner preview

Skinner has no qualms about returning to Chicagoland Speedway. ABINGDON, Va.--As Morgan-McClure Motorsports approaches the midway point of the 2002 Winston Cup season, things seem to be heating up around the Abingdon, Va.-based racing facility.

Skinner has no qualms about returning to Chicagoland Speedway.

ABINGDON, Va.--As Morgan-McClure Motorsports approaches the midway point of the 2002 Winston Cup season, things seem to be heating up around the Abingdon, Va.-based racing facility. Team morale is rising as fast as Southern summer temperatures.

Although the No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo has shown a few strong runs earlier in the year, it has given everyone a peek at its capabilities the past few races. With momentum in its corner from these solid outings, the team is ready to tackle the remainder of the season with much aggression.

"With this team having good runs the past few races, it makes everyone look forward to the next event," Mike Skinner, pilot of the Kodak Chevrolet, said. "We are chomping at the bit to get to the next race."

Skinner, who was sidelined with injuries last season due to a wreck in the inaugural event at Chicagoland Speedway, has no trepidation about returning to the 1.5-mile facility. Actually he says he is looking forward to competing in the Windy City again.

"We were running awfully good at Chicagoland last year. We started the race seventh in the No. 31 car and ran in the top-five. A right front tire blew and sent me into the wall. I was out for four races because of the deal," Skinner commented. "Chicagoland is a great facility. I had a decent run there in the Busch series also. Goodyear has some good tire compounds they are taking back to Chicago. The Kodak Car should be very competitive next week."

Skinner began the Chicago race last year in the seventh position and finished 42nd. He completed only 22 of 267 laps due to the accident.

When asked about competing with very little seat time at new tracks added to the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit, Skinner feels he adapts well. Most drivers, he believes, can drive the new tracks without problems after the first practice run.

"I've never had a problem adjusting to new tracks," the 45-year-old driver said. "Usually it is easy to get the hang of it pretty quick. If a car is set-up good and running well right off the truck, then it lets a driver concentrate on learning the facility better."

The Morgan-McClure team will test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Tuesday and Wednesday. Indy was one of the races Skinner missed last season due to the Chicagoland wreck. In 2000, Skinner started the Brickyard 400 ninth and finished ninth.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner