Mike Skinner spent the first half of his career winning titles in the CraftsmanTruck Series for Richard Childress. When Skinner made the jump from trucks to the Winston Cup Series, things haven't gone quite as planned. Skinner is still seeking...
Mike Skinner spent the first half of his career winning titles in the CraftsmanTruck Series for Richard Childress. When Skinner made the jump from trucks to the Winston Cup Series, things haven't gone quite as planned. Skinner is still seeking that elusive first victory, which has been somewhat bittersweet. He has visited victory lane, but the event was won during the off-season in a nonpoints event in Japan.
Even though the two series, CTS and Winston cup are very different, Skinner hasn't changed his driving style over the course of two series, it's simply a matter of more competition.
"The biggest difference was that I was used to running up front almost every week and winning a lot of races in the truck series. I think what happened to me was that I came into the Winston Cup Series and didn't change anything. The level of competition in Winston Cup is the difference between playing high school basketball and playing in the NBA."
Another difference in the trucks to the Cup-style stock cars, less beating and banging. "The wheelbase is longer on the trucks. It's a couple inches longer. They're a lot more forgiving. You can knock somebody in the side and get them sideways and it's a lot easier to gather that thing up and keep going than it is in a Winston Cup car."
To date Skinner holds 10 top fives and 38 top-10s in his Cup career and in 2002, he started a new in the No. 4 Kodak MAX Chevrolet for Morgan-McClure Motorsports. So far this season the veteran driver is 29th in points.
The Morgan-McClure/Skinner combination is something both sides felt was right, and the team, after struggling in recent years, is on its way to a rebuild. "Basically just turning things around. I think that he felt like my aggressive driving style and my experience behind the wheel and giving feedback would help."
"The frustrating part is that I feel like I'm probably a better racecar driver and am probably in better physical and mental shape than I've been in for a long time. We're having a hard time making that show up because of not being more competitive. In a sense it's a rebuilding period for me as well."