Loudon: Mike Skinner race notes

New Hamshire woes. Morgan-McClure Motorsports handed in its best qualifying effort of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Season at the 1.058-mile track in Loudon, NH. The No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo unloaded off of the truck fast in...

New Hamshire woes.

Morgan-McClure Motorsports handed in its best qualifying effort of the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Season at the 1.058-mile track in Loudon, NH. The No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Monte Carlo unloaded off of the truck fast in first practice, solidifying the upward momentum the team had gained in the past several races.

Starting on the outside pole, Mike Skinner and the entire team had high aspirations of inking a solid top-five performance on paper. A task the team has been close to accomplishing for many of the races this year.

The No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevrolet was one of the fastest cars during the start of the New England 300. Although Skinner restarted in 16th position following a four-tire pit stop on lap 65, mainly due to several competitors taking on two tires, the car was still turning in some of the best lap times of the day.

On lap 72 of the 300-lap event, the No. 48 car rubbed the left rear quarter panel of the No. 4 machine, causing a blue smoke. When Skinner saw the smoke and felt a flutter, not knowing the other car had scraped him, he thought the engine had expired and immediately shut off power to the racecar. Mark Nichols, engine-tuner for the team, inspected the engine closely when the car was pulled behind the wall. No malfunctions in the power plant were found and the car was restarted without problems. Once back out on the racetrack, Skinner fell victim to oil on the track and spun, hitting the rear-end of the car. Obviously trying to find some positive results to a disappointing day, Chris Carrier decided to gain data on the car to use for the Winston Cup return to New Hampshire in September.

Larry McClure, team owner, quotes:

"The race team was real happy with qualifying efforts on Friday. We, as a team, struggled in practice on Saturday. We made choices and made changes accordingly.

"The problem we seemed to be having was with tire and racetrack combinations. During the race, drivers were saying the racetrack was coming up. Every team out there faced the same situation; you just have to learn to adjust accordingly. In this level of competition, a driver and a team have to learn to overcome track conditions to win races.

"In the early stages of the event, the No. 48 car rubbed against our car. The driver saw blue smoke and felt a flutter. He thought the engine gave-way and shut the car off. Once the car was inspected, it was obvious there were no mechanical failures. Nothing was wrong with the racecar.

"Once back out on the track, we got into oil from Kyle Petty's machine, spun and damaged the back of the car. We used the opportunity to make a few changes to see if we could improve the car. Once we return to New Hampshire in the fall, we can use some of the data compiled from those changes.

"The No. 4 Kodak MAX Film Chevy was fast. It was fast all weekend."

-mmm-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner , Kyle Petty , Chris Carr