Shepard to Drive for Skinner at Martinsville

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 9, 1998) Mike Skinner, driver of the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, will miss the April 19 Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Martinsville Speedway due to injuries he suffered in a crash in...

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (April 9, 1998)

Mike Skinner, driver of the No. 31 Lowe's Chevrolet on the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, will miss the April 19 Goody's Headache Powder 500 at Martinsville Speedway due to injuries he suffered in a crash in the April 5 Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Morgan Shepherd will drive the Lowe's Monte Carlo at Martinsville. Lowe's Team Manager David Smith said no decision has yet been made on who will drive the car in the April 26 DieHard 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Skinner, who slammed into the frontstretch wall on lap 250 of the Texas 500 after the right front tire on his Chevrolet shredded, suffered a broken right scapula and a fractured bone in his left wrist in the accident. His left wrist has been placed in a cast.

The Lowe's team tested at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in Greenville, S.C. -- a track very similar to Martinsville -- on April 7-8 with Shepherd behind the wheel.

"Morgan will practice, qualify and drive the car at Martinsville," Smith said. "Mike needs some time off to heal."

Skinner was troubled earlier this season by injuries suffered in a hard crash in the March 9 PRIMESTAR 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Shepherd stood in for him in the TranSouth Financial 400 at Darlington Raceway.

"The test (at Greenville-Pickens) went very well, and we feel real good about how we're going to run at Martinsville," Smith said. "Morgan did a real good job for us at Darlington when he got in for Mike at the first yellow, and he ran real well in the Greenville test.

"This is Mike's second serious crash in a month, and he was still healing from the first accident. We need to get Mike back to 100 percent, and the best way to do that is for him to sit out at least one race. We'll wait until the week of the Talladega race to see how Mike is doing before we make a decision on Talladega. We will probably have Morgan at least standing by."

Skinner says he wants to be back in the car by Talladega.

"I'm going to be at Martinsville, but I will not be getting in the car at all that weekend," he said. "I need some time to heal. This has been a rough week. I'm glad we've got a couple of weeks before Talladega. I really feel we've got a chance to run real well down there. With a little bit of luck, we could even win it. I feet I'll be ready by Talladega."

Shepherd scored the first of his four NASCAR Winston Cup Series wins at Martinsville in 1981. He has three other top-five finishes at the .526-mile track.

"Martinsville has always been one of my favorite tracks," Shepherd said, "and I really appreciate Richard Childress, David Smith, Kevin Hamlin and the rest of the Lowe's team for giving me this opportunity. I feel we might surprise a few people at Martinsville."

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Mike Skinner , Morgan Shepherd , David Smith