Skinner finishes 22nd at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 17, 2003) -- U.S. Army driver Mike Skinner, who started at the back of the field (42nd), fought his forward to post a 22nd place finish in Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 here at ...
Skinner finishes 22nd at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 17, 2003) -- U.S. Army driver Mike Skinner, who started at the back of the field (42nd), fought his forward to post a 22nd place finish in Sunday's GFS Marketplace 400 here at Michigan International Speedway.
For most of the race, Skinner was running solidly in the top 15, but as the race went on his No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac started to tighten, costing him valuable track position on the 2.0-mile oval.
"For the majority of the race we had a heckuva run going," said Skinner, who made his second appearance with the U.S. Army team as the substitute driver for the injured Jerry Nadeau. "But as the race was winding down, we started to encounter some problems. With about 15 laps remaining somebody got into me on the backstretch and that caused the car to tighten up. It just wouldn't turn in the corners. I also had to be a little careful, because we were right on the edge with having enough fuel."
Skinner was right about the fuel mileage. As his black and gold car crossed the finish line it ran of gas.
"Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton) made a great call when we came in during a caution for fuel with 53 laps remaining," said Skinner, who ran has high as sixth during the 200-lap, 400-mile race. "Our fuel window was 50-51 laps, but we thought we could stretch it out and we did. A great call."
The U.S. Army team struggled in both qualifying and practice to find the right setup, but the team made major changes after Saturday's final practice that proved to be effective.
"We are not happy with a 22nd place finish, but considering where we were coming from, I guess it wasn't that bad," explained Skinner. "We all got together and discussed what the car needed. I like the communications on this team and I really give a lot of credit to Ryan and the guys for coming through. I also tip my hat to the pit crew -- they were awesome all day."
The next stop for Skinner and the U.S. Army team will be next Saturday night -- the Sharpie 500 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
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