Martinsville: Mike Skinner preview

Morgan-McClure carries momentum into Martinsville. Following a 12th place finish in Texas and a fifth place qualifying run the race prior in Bristol, Morgan-McClure Motorsports is hoping to build on that momentum heading into Martinsville, Va.

Morgan-McClure carries momentum into Martinsville.

Following a 12th place finish in Texas and a fifth place qualifying run the race prior in Bristol, Morgan-McClure Motorsports is hoping to build on that momentum heading into Martinsville, Va. this week. Returning to a "grass roots" type of track, one which has seen success from Mike Skinner and Morgan-McClure Motorsports in the past, brings high hopes to the No. 4 Kodak Max Film Race Team.

"I had good runs and wins at Martinsville in the Truck Series," Mike Skinner states. "The track reminds me of the ones I raced on in California. I believe the short tracks provide a little extra excitement for fans."

Skinner, the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series Champion in 1995, is the sole series champion with a win at Martinsville on his resume.

"Experience at Martinsville helps. You cannot overdrive getting into the corners," Skinner said. "There is a sweet spot as far as handling of the vehicle getting into and off of the corners."

The Calif.-native also has experienced success at the track with wins in the NASCAR Late Model Stock Series and decent finishes in Winston Cup. He has posted three top-10 finishes in three of his last five Winston Cup races at the .526-mile facility. During the fall race of 1999, Skinner led 138 laps before turning in a sixth place finish. The year before in April1998, the No. 4 Kodak Monte Carlo (driven by Bobby Hamilton at the time) started on the pole, dominated the race by leading 378 laps and turned in the team's last victory.

"Patience and discipline are key at Martinsville. The track is like two long drag strips with two tight corners," Skinner commented. "A whole lot of things are like Caraway, where I won a track championship. But any way you look at it, Martinsville is Martinsville. It is unique. Motors come into play there more than they used to. Then there is the transition from the corners to the straight-aways. With them being two different racing surfaces, it takes a certain feel to go from the asphalt to the concrete. "We are in hopes of a good finish for Kodak and Morgan-McClure this weekend. I think the extra effort everyone has been putting into the race team is beginning to show. We are really excited about jumping up to 26th in the points standings. We have a long way to go, but we're gaining on it each week."

Mike Skinner made his Winston Cup career debut at Martinsville on April 27, 1986, 173 races ago.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Mike Skinner